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Three PSU student-athletes recognized by the Little East

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three Plymouth State University student-athletes were honored by the Little East Conference Monday for their efforts in several Panther contests last week.

Senior Brad Wilby (Haddonfield, N.J.) was named LEC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the third consecutive week, while senior Sonia Trudell (Somersworth, N.H.) was selected the Women's Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week and freshman Melanie Bates (Derry, N.H.) was tabbed the LEC Field Hockey Rookie of the Week.

A 6'3", 190-pound goalkeeper, Wilby extended his shutout streak to five with a pair of whitewashes last week. He made six saves Wednesday in a 3-0 win at Bates, and stopped three shots Saturday in a 1-0 overtime decision over LEC foe Eastern Connecticut. Wilby has seven shutouts in nine contests this season, and leads the conference and ranks among the national Division III leaders with a 0.33 goals against average.

Wilby, who has surrendered only three goals all season, and none since Sept. 16, has helped the Panthers to the No. 5 spot in the New England Division III rankings. The Panthers, 8-1-0 overall, also share the top spot in the LEC standings with a 3-0-0 mark.

A 5'9" outside hitter, Trudell was recognized after leading the Panthers to a 3-1 week, including an LEC win over UMass Boston last Wednesday and a 2-1 record last weekend against a trio of regionally-ranked teams in the Bates College Invitational. Trudell was selected to the All-Tournament Team after playing outstanding defense, including a 12-dig effort as PSU upset Colby College (ranked 4th in New England). The Panthers also upended Bowdoin (15th in New England) but lost to MIT (2nd in New England).

Trudell, who received the first LEC weekly recognition of her career, averaged 2.86 digs and 0.43 blocks in the four matches last week. The senior co-captain has been instrumental in helping the Panthers to a 17-4 record and a spot in the New England Top 15 poll as well as a share of second place in the LEC with a 3-1 mark.

A 5'7" midfielder, Bates enjoyed the best week of her young career, leading the Panthers to a 2-0 week. She scored three goals, including two game-winners, as PSU pulled off 3-2 victories over LEC foes Southern Maine and Westfield State. She netted the decisive goal with 12 minutes remaining in Wednesday's win over USM, and added a pair of scores, including the game-winner midway through the second half, in Saturday's victory over Westfield State.

Bates, who was also on the Weekly Honor Roll at womensfieldhockey.com, has jumped up to third in the LEC scoring race with five goals and one assist on the season. She has helped the Panthers to a tie for third place in the LEC with a 3-1 mark, 4-4 overall.

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