COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- As voted upon by conference sports information directors, Leigh Heffner earned her first career Ohio Valley Conference honor as this week's Defensive Player of the Week. This marks the first OVC award to go to the women's soccer team this season.
Playing 200 minutes in two matches this weekend, Heffner anchored the defense for the Golden Eagles as they earned their first conference win, 1-0 over SEMO, and tied Eastern Illinois, 1-1. In one of the most physical games of the season, Tech was fouled 17 times by SEMO, and looked to Heffner for her strong foot and ability to distribute and serve the ball accurately on nearly every direct kick. Her instinctive style of play, that which continually puts her in the right place at the right time, allowed her to play a huge role in maintaining the shutout victory for the Golden Eagles on Friday.
Against EIU, Heffner's defense only allowed one goal and pulled together through 110 minutes of play to earn a one-all tie for Tech. Heffner contributed again with her serves out of the backfield, but also was present on several team saves both during regulation and in sudden death to maintain the tie for TTU.
A sophomore out of Golden, Colo., Heffner has started 14 games for Tech this season, appearing in all 15. She has logged two shots on goal.
"This is a fantastic and much-deserved honor for Leigh," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "She has been a huge component to our defense this season, and deserves to be recognized for everything that she does for us in the backfield."
With a cumulative GPA of 3.90, Heffner is also currently on the ballot for the first time for the CoSida Academic All-American District IV award.
The Golden Eagles will take to the field again this weekend against Jacksonville State and Austin Peay; both games will be played at home on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. respectively.