BIG EAST Names Aguilar Offensive Player of Week
Aug. 29, 2011
CHICAGO – Antonio Aguilar’s sensational start to the 2011 soccer season got that much better on Monday.
That’s when the junior midfielder was honored as the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week after leading DePaul to a 3-1, season-opening victory over 2010 NCAA tournament qualifier Oakland last Saturday.
Aguilar put on quite a show for the partisan Wish Field crowd, scoring twice on a pair of 35-yard blasts into the upper reaches of the Oakland net and assisting on freshman Thiago Ganancio’s first collegiate goal.
“It’s amazing---what a great start to the season,” Aguilar said. “It means a lot to be recognized by the BIG EAST for what I did in Saturday’s game.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been the Offensive Player of the Week. It’s also the first time in college that I scored in our season opener.”
If this keeps up, it won’t be the only time Aguilar wins the Offensive Player of the Week award.
As a freshman in 2009, Aguilar was selected BIG EAST Rookie of the Week after his two goals led the Blue Demons to a 2-1, double-overtime win over Marquette.
The dangerous left-footed scorer from Mt. Carmel was chosen All-BIG EAST Second Team in 2010 and was named to the All-BIG EAST Rookie Team in 2009.
“Last year, we played a different style of soccer and didn’t take many long shots,” Aguilar said. “This season, we’re using the high press and our coaches want us to get as many shots as we can on target.
“As a junior, I feel more confident this season taking longer shots.
“One of my goals was to become BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, and it means a lot to me that I have accomplished that goal.
“Now, I hope our team has a great season and I can become All-BIG EAST First Team.”
Aguilar is the leading returning scorer for the Blue Demons after notching five goals and two assists for 12 points last year.
“I have to thank my teammates for putting me in position to score those goals and get the assist,” Aguilar said. “What a great way for all of us to start out the year.”
Aguilar and the Blue Demons take on Illinois-Chicago at 5 p.m. Thursday at Toyota Park.