Sawyer Secures IIAC Women’s Soccer Defensive Performer of the Week

Oct 7, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The best defense is a good offense.

University of Dubuque defender, Melissa Sawyer, certainly adhered to the age-old adage after a pair of goals and one assist led to an Iowa Conference Women’s Soccer Defensive Performer of the Week award and a pair of wins last week, including the defeat of Loras, 3-2, in double overtime.

The corner kick specialist was busy as the Spartans owned a 10-5 corner kick advantage throughout the Loras match on Wednesday. Her efforts paid off when she gave the Spartans (10-3, 3-0 IIAC) a leg up on her corner kick assist to Kelsey Graefen in the 59th minute. Graefen’s goal gave UD a 2-1 lead that held until the 82nd minute. Solid overtime defense by Sawyer & Co. held Loras scoreless as Lisa Rosas’ golden goal in the 105th minute sealed the deal.

The Spartans handed Loras their first Iowa Conference loss since 2009. UD was also on the winning end of that nail-biter, coming away with the victory, 2-1, in double overtime.

Just for kicks, Sawyer netted her first two goals of the season in a 5-0 rout of Coe at home on Saturday. Sawyer connected on a bending corner kick in the 29th minute and followed it up with UD’s first successful penalty kick of the season in the 62nd. Her defensive skills were on point as her and the Spartan defense shutout a team that has attempted the fourth-most shots in the IIAC.

Sawyer is part of a defensive effort that has allowed UD to outshoot its opponents, 256-111, in 13 games this season.

The senior out of Northbrook, Ill. doubled her career goal count to four and upped her career assists to 14. The two-time Academic All-Iowa Conference award winner majors in biology.

Sawyer and the Spartans oppose North Central College on the road, Wednesday, October 8th at 5:00 p.m.

Official IIAC release