Oct. 29, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara sophomore midfielder Ciaran O'Brien was named to College Soccer News National Team of the Week for the week ending October 28 after his performance against Big West rival Cal State Northridge, it was announced Monday. O'Brien also earned his second Big West Conference Player of the Week honor this season after scoring twice against the Matadors.
For the second week in a row, the transfer from the University of San Diego paved the way for the UCSB offense and was directly involved in all three goals in the Gauchos' convincing 3-0 win over rival Northridge at Harder Stadium Saturday night. O'Brien scored what became the game-winner in a second consecutive match, punching in a free kick past Matador keeper Kevin Guppy in the 20th minute after CSUN was whistled for a foul just outside the box. He was also credited an assist on Santa Barbara's second goal in the 68th, and scored again in the 71st when he finished the rebound off a shot by Eric Avila to put the game out of reach.
With the win over Northridge, UCSB improved to 8-3-3 overall and moved back into first place in the conference standings at 5-1-1.
O'Brien is now second on the team with five goals this season, with three of those coming in the Gauchos' last two contests, and leads the squad with six assists and 43 shots. The native of Federal Way, Wash. has either scored or assisted on UCSB's last six goals spanning the last three matches.
This is O'Brien's second-career Player of the Week award and third for a Gaucho in 2007. He took home the Big West's weekly honor after scoring a goal and tallying an assist on the game-winner in UCSB's 2-1 overtime win over No. 3 SMU September 14.
O'Brien and the Gauchos hit the road to start off the week and will take on UC Irvine Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., before hosting Cal Poly in battle between the Big West's top two squads Saturday at Harder Stadium.