Denver, Colo. - San Jose State's Nina Butera has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the week of October 19-25.
This is the second weekly conference honor of her season and career, and the fourth for a San Jose State player this year. Fellow San Jose native and former teammate at Presentation High School, Roxy Kamal, is a two-time offensive recipient in 2009.
Butera allowed one goal over 151:19 (0.60 GAA), with 14 saves on a total of 27 shots faced, as the first-place Spartans continued a school-record 13-match unbeaten run with a pair of wins last week. She matched her single-game career high with 12 stops during a 2-1 victory at home over Idaho on Friday night, October 23, that put her team back atop the WAC standings. The saves total is the second-highest in the conference in 2009. The haul included a brilliant kick-save during the first half on a left-footed blast from inside the penalty area by Idaho's leading scorer, freshman Chelsea Small, and a fingertip stop against the crossbar off a long-distance effort by Cassandra San in the second half. The 12 saves also moved her into second-place in the all-time Spartan record book with 229.
Butera then made two saves over 61:19 of shutout soccer in a 2-0 non-conference victory at Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon, October 25, combining on the Spartans' seventh clean sheet of the season with junior teammate Danielle Anderson. The seven shutouts match a single-season program record. Butera is now 10-2-3 individually in 2009. Her league-leading goals-against-average of 0.74 would eclipse her own single-season school record.
Hawai'i's Ambree Ako won the conference offensive player of the week honors, scoring three of her team's four goals. Spartan senior Emmy Belding was also a candidate after accumulating five points from two goals and an assist over the weekend. She scored both goals, including the game-winner, against Idaho, and assisted on the deciding goal at Cal State Bakersfield.
Belding, Butera and the first-place Spartans will wrap up the home portion of the schedule on Friday night, October 30, at 5:00 p.m. The game marks Senior Night and will be the first part of a doubleheader with the first-place men's team. The Spartan women will honor seven players in pregame festivities. A win Friday coupled with a New Mexico State loss would give the Spartans their first regular-season conference title.
Other offensive nominees included: Boise State senior midfielder Kaylea Perenon; Fresno State freshman defender Bianca Lopez; Louisiana Tech junior defender Kiva Gresham; Nevada sophomore forward Natalie Ratnavira; and San Jose State senior forward Emmy Belding.
Other defensive nominees included: Boise State sophomore goalkeeper Liz Ruiz; Fresno State junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Revel; Hawai'i senior midfielder Kristyn Shapka; and Nevada junior goalkeeper Marie Cove.