Nov. 5, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara sophomore midfielder Ciaran O'Brien continued to excel on the offensive side and was named to both the College Soccer News and Soccer America National Teams of the Week for the second week in a row, it was announced Monday. O'Brien also earned a second consecutive Big West Conference Player of the Week honor after registering a goal and an assist in both of the Gauchos' victories last week.
The transfer from the University of San Diego has been the man to watch on offense for Santa Barbara the last three weeks and had a huge hand in the Gauchos' pair of 3-1 wins over UC Irvine and No. 15 Cal Poly last week. O'Brien scored what became the game-winner in a third consecutive match, finding the net in the 49th minute against the Anteaters in Irvine Wednesday before connecting with Brennan Tennelle for the Gauchos' third and final goal in the 53rd.
The Federal Way, Wash. native had a goal and an assist once again Saturday against Cal Poly, finding Andy Iro for the game-winning goal in the 64th minute and then getting into the action once more, scoring his seventh goal of the season on an incredible bending shot from the right side less than a minute later.
With the two wins, UCSB improved to 10-3-3 overall and took a commanding two game lead in the Big West standings at 7-1-1 with three games remaining.
O'Brien has taken over the Big West lead with 22 points on seven goals and a conference-high eight assists. He has scored a goal in each of the last four games, all of which were Gaucho victories, and five of his seven goals have come over that span.
This is O'Brien's third Player of the Week award this season and fourth for a Gaucho overall 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 and claimed the award last week after he was directly involved in all three goals in UCSB's 3-0 win over Cal State Northridge.
O'Brien and the Gauchos have six days off before traveling to Cal State Fullerton this Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. match-up.