Following back-to-back shutouts to open the 2016 season, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Marnie Merritt has been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
The weekly award is the second of Merritt’s career after she was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Oct. 12 last season. She’s also the first goalkeeper to win the defensive award since Kelly McCormick did it on Aug. 25, 2014.
Merritt’s start to the season went just as well as the team’s 2-0 start as she didn’t allow a goal all weekend. In Friday’s opener with Louisiana-Lafayette, the Huntersville, N.C. native only had to defend four shots, none of which were on target.
In Sunday’s match versus Northwestern State, Merritt made three saves and recorded her second-straight shutout to begin just her sophomore campaign.
As the vocal leader for the Ole Miss backline, Merritt and the Rebels kept its opening weekend opposition well in check, only allowing eight shots in the two matches combined.
Just two games in, Merritt’s records in the career charts continue to climb as she’s now fourth in career goals allowed average (1.00), and has inched ever closer to the top-five in career shutouts, now with nine in 25 matches started.
Merritt and the Rebels return to action Friday against Memphis at 7 p.m. at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
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