CLEVELAND - After leading the Miami University women's soccer to a pair of wins over the weekend, junior midfielder Kayla Zakrzewski has been named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Ball State defender Pavla Benyrova was selected MAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) helped Miami start 2-0 in MAC play, tallying two goals and two assists for six points in the pair of matches. In Friday's 4-1 MAC-opening victory over Akron, Zakrzewski stole the show as she had a hand in each of Miami's first three goals, scoring two and assisting on the other. She scored Miami's first goal of the match in the 51st minute to break a scoreless deadlock on a great individual effort, beating her defender one-on-one and firing a hard shot that snuck past the keeper. She then assisted on the RedHawks' second goal, which was the game-winner, with a perfect cross along the end line that led to an easy goal. Zakrzewski capped her outburst with a blast from the top of the 18-yard box that landed in the top corner of the net for an unassisted goal. It was her first multi-goal game this year and third of her career, tying a career high for goals, while her five points in the match were a season high, one shy of her career high. She took a game-high five shots in the match and put all five on goal, while all of her points came in a 12-minute stretch in the second half.
In Sunday's 2-0 shutout of Buffalo, Zakrzewski assisted on Miami's second goal in the 57th minute with a perfect cross to set up the score, which helped secure the victory. Her only shot of the game was on goal, as well, as all six of her shots for the weekend were on target. Zakrzewski, who entered the weekend with just two goals and three assists all season, now has four goals and five assists on the year.
The honor is the first of Zakrzewski's career while she is the third RedHawk to win MAC Offensive Player of the Week this year. Senior Jess Kodiak earned the award Aug. 20 following Miami's first two games of the season while freshman Haley Walter garnered the honor Sept. 5.
Zakrzewski and the RedHawks are back in action this weekend when Miami continues MAC play on the road, facing Ohio Friday, Sept. 28 and Kent State Sunday, Sept. 30.