Denver, Colo. - San Jose State University goalkeeper Nina Butera has been named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the week of September 14-20.
Butera, a redshirt junior and San Jose native out of Presentation High School, is a first-time weekly conference honoree. A Spartan player has now been recognized by the WAC for a second straight week, after Butera's former teammate at Presentation, fellow San Jose product Roxy Kamal, was tabbed the Offensive Player of the Week for September 7-13.
Butera earned her third straight victory and first individual shutout of the season in goal for San Jose State in a 1-0 double-overtime win over UC Davis on Friday night, September 18, at Spartan Stadium. She played all 100:34, faced 18 shots, and equalled her single-game season high with seven saves.
It was a save that Butera did not receive credit for, however, that preserved the match for her team. Late in the first sudden-victory overtime session, at approximately the 97-minute mark, a pin-point through pass put the Aggies' Marisa Boge in toward the penalty area one-on-one. Butera came out of her goal and took the ball off Boge's foot as she was trying to dribble around her. Moments later, 34 seconds into the second 10-minute overtime, Emmy Belding tallied the Spartans' game-winner.
Butera and her defense held scoreless a UC Davis squad that had entered the game undefeated at 4-0-1, rated No. 10 in the West region, and ranked sixth statistically in the nation in scoring with 20 goals over its first five matches. The Aggies featured the two scoring leaders in the entire Big West Conference in senior forwards Rochelle VanBuskirk and Boge. Butera has a current shutout streak in the Spartan net of 165:47. Friday's clean sheet was the sixth of her career, third-most in the San Jose State record book.
San Jose State (3-4) takes its three-match win streak into a pair of contests to close out a season-long three-game homestand this week. The team first plays host to Notre Dame de Namur University on Tuesday, September 22. Kick-off at Spartan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.
With her game-winner over the Aggies, Belding was nominated for the Offensive Player of the Week award, which went to Louisiana Tech's Kat McCullough for her two-goal, one-assist performance over two victories.
Other offensive nominees included: Boise State junior forward Shannon Saxton; Fresno State junior forward Claudia Cardenas; Hawai'i senior forward Britta Bourne; Idaho freshman midfielder/forward Erica Hart; Nevada sophomore midfielder Natalie Ratnavira; New Mexico State freshman forward Crystal Burns; and San Jose State senior forward Emmy Belding.
Other defensive nominees included: Boise State senior goalkeeper Jen Burns; Fresno State sophomore defender Kendall VanDine; Hawai'i senior defender Kristyn Shapka; Idaho senior defender Sari Morrison; Louisiana Tech sophomore goalkeeper Cat Buchanan; Nevada freshman goalkeeper Dana Moreno; and New Mexico State freshman defender Elise Nordin.