By KIRBY MCMAHON
For the first time in Mount Mary College athletics history, two soccer players, Rasika Perera and Emily Ristow, were named Division III Independents women’s soccer Players of the Week.
Junior Perera, a starting forward for the Blue Angels, ranked in the top 100 in total goals, total assists, assists per game, total points and game-winning goals among the division this season. These statistics landed her the title of Player of the Week for Sept. 2-9.
Perera is a newcomer to Mount Mary this season, but Coach Joe Shokatz recognizes she is an invaluable asset to this year’s team.
“Rasika is a strong forward who can score,” Shokatz said. “She is extremely aggressive, and she has more speed than the average player.”
Perera is appreciative of the award but credits her team.
“I honestly believe it should be a team award,” Perera said. “Without the help of my teammates I wouldn’t be able to score.”
Junior center-midfielder Ristow wrapped up the season by scoring seven goals throughout two games against Lincoln Christian University and Robert Morris University-Peoria. Ristow was named Player of the Week for Oct. 21-28 for her standout performance combined with her 32 goals this season.
Ristow was honored to receive the title but was more excited about what it meant for the soccer program.
“I think this really proves how our soccer program is improving,” Ristow said.
“We have come so far since the beginning of the season and it’s only going forward from here.”
Shokatz praised Ristow for her ability to dominate the game.
“Once she gets the ball on her foot there’s no stopping her,” Shokatz said. “She is exceptionally skilled.”
The Blue Angels’ soccer team achieved its first ever winning season this fall with a final record of 8:7.