Stuart Aeschliman Tabbed NAIA Men’s Soccer Offensive Player Of The Week
Maple Leaf striker adds national award to mantle
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after becoming the first Goshen College men’s soccer player in at least a decade to win three conference player of the week honors in the same season, Maple Leaf freshman forward Stuart Aeschliman added NAIA Offensive Player of the Week honors to his mantle Tuesday.
Aeschliman, a native of Salem, Oregon, who prepped at West Salem High School, assisted on one game-tying goal and one go-ahead goal last week as the Maple Leafs went 2-0. Wednesday night, he got credit for helping Uriel Macias equalize with 5:44 left in regulation at Marian, a game Goshen would win 2-1 in overtime. On Saturday, he assisted Tevin GIlkes’ first career goal before adding his own with 12:02 left in a 2-1 win over number-18 Spring Arbor.
The younger of two brothers on the Goshen team, Stuart Aeschliman’s 10 goals this season are a team high and the most by any Maple Leaf since Tony Janzen scored 14 in 2007. His career total is five times the combined output of his father Jeff, a 1987 graduate, and his brother Spencer, a junior; both elder Aeschlimans played defensive positions.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics names one or more players of the week in each sport every Tuesday during the season. The finalists for NAIA awards come from conference players of the week, which in turn are based on nominations from each member institution.
Aeschliman is the first Maple Leaf to win NAIA player of the week honors in any sport since Isaac Huerta two years and two weeks ago: like Aeschliman, Huerta led the Maple Leafs in scoring as a freshman and earned the certificate after scoring the game-winning goal in a 2-1 defeat of nationally-ranked Spring Arbor.
Huerta and Aeschliman join Errick McCollum II, who won Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Division II on Feb. 23, 2010, as the only GC athletes to claim national awards of that stature in the last decade by any subset.
Aeschliman and the Maple Leafs sit third in the 10-team Crossroads League with a 3-1-1 mark and are 10-3-1 overall this season. They take to the turf twice this week, hosting Taylor on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before traveling to Mount Vernon Nazarene at 7 p.m. Saturday. The latter match will be played at Mount Vernon High School, which has lights; that represents a change in venue and time from the original 2 p.m. kickoff on the MVNU campus.