KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After launching seven goals in two matches and breaking multiple program records, John Brown University freshman forward Kristen Howell has been named the NAIA National Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, the national offices announced Tuesday (Oct. 11) afternoon.
Only two other players in program history have won national weekly awards, both in the defensive category. Senior Kristen Morency won it twice, once in 2012 and 2013, while Natalie Wall '07 won it in 2007. Howell is the first player in program history to notch the national accolades in the offensive category.
Howell's two-match surge came at the expense of Oklahoma City and St. Gregory's (Okla.), in which she racked up seven goals, or 64 percent of the Golden Eagles' offensive output in the 2-0-0 week that helped JBU maintain its grasp on first place in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
The redshirt freshman began the week with her first-career hattrick, the 13th in program history, in a 5-0 win over Oklahoma City, JBU's largest margin of victory over the Stars in program history. She then tallied a four-goal outing in John Brown's 9-0 win over St. Gregory's, notching back-to-back hattricks, the first such occurrence in program history.
Now with multiple three-goal outings, Howell joined Nikki Ganter '06, an All-America third team selection, as the only players in program history to record multiple three-goal outbursts. Additionally, Howell's four-goal match against the Cavaliers tied a single-game program record, set by Rachel Gerdin '08 in 2008, a 6-0 John Brown win over Mid-America Christian (Okla.).
"I was excited to hear that Kristen was chosen for this award," said head coach Kathleen Paulsen. "She had an exceptional week with multiple quality goals in both matches. As a team, we've been working on having quality in the final third and Kristen and the team have found success over the last couple of weeks. It's exciting to see."
Yesterday (Oct. 10), Howell earned her first-ever Sooner Athletic Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Howell now stands at 10 goals and three assists on the season (23 points) and moved into fourth place in the Sooner Athletic top scoring list, behind teammates Jastin Redman and Aspen Robinson and behind conference leader, Nadine Jaimes of Southwestern A.G. (Texas).
The Golden Eagles have been on an unprecedented streak as of late. Over the team's last six outings, John Brown has outscored its opponents 34-0 and accumulated six straight clean sheets. Over the same span, JBU has out-shot its opponents 174-32, or nearly 5.5-1.0.
JBU is on pace to set program single-season team records in goal, assists, points, goals-against average, shutouts.
The No. 20 Golden Eagles (10-1-1) return to action on Saturday (Oct. 15) at Alumni Field, hosting Science & Arts (Okla.) at 2 p.m.