ODAC Players of the Week - Week 1

ODAC Players of the Week - Week 1

FOREST, Va. --- The first week of action is in the books for the 2018-19 academic year and ODAC athletes are already performing at a high level. Those earning ODAC weekly honorees include Caitlin Mertens from Lynchburg women's soccer, Skyler Lattuca from Virginia Wesleyan men's cross country, Samantha Yates from Washington and Lee women's cross country, Ariyel Yavalar from W&L field hockey, Daquan Pridget from Shenandoah football, Rachel Gaston from Bridgewater volleyball, Josh Breece from W&L football, and Thomas White from BC men's soccer.

Below are entries for all eight winners from the past week of competition.  Click on the associated links to see that sport's weekly honor roll.

For more on ODAC athletics, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

ODAC Players of the Week

Thru Week Prior to: September 4, 2018

Daquan Pridget | Shenandoah | So. | Defensive Back
Pridget, a sophomore from Windsor Hill, Md., helped the Hornets to a 48-33 road win at Methodist with three interceptions. It's the first time an ODAC player has picked off three or more passes in a game since W&L's Will Dyson in 2016. Pridget didn't take long to make an impact as he intercepted MU quarterback Steve Keoni on the Monarch's first play from scrimmage to setup the Hornets first touchdown. While his second takeaway didn't setup a touchdown, it averted one as he hauled in a would-be touchdown pass in the SU end zone. Pridget's final interception also came in the red zone at the 8-yard line midway thru the fourth quarter. Pridget added four tackles and a pass breakup to his stat line.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Josh Breece | Washington and Lee | So. | Running Back
Breece, a sophomore from Lorton, Va., picked up right where he left off from his record-breaking rookie season with his schoool-record ninth straight 100-yard effort in a 16-10 overtime road win at Dickinson College. His ninth 100-yard effort breaks a W&L tie with former backs Chris Sullivan and Kevin Weaver. Breece carried the ball 26 times for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Red Devils. His first score covered 31 yards to put W&L on the board late in the third quarter. His second proved the game-winner as he punched it in from a yard-out on W&L's lone overtime possession. He carried the ball five times on the deciding drive.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Ariyel Yavalar | Washington and Lee | Sr. | Goalkeeper
Yavalar, a senior from Baltimore, Md., was under heavy fire all weekend as the 20th-ranked Generals took on a pair of national-caliber opponents, going 1-1 in the process. Yavalar faced 20 shots in a 1-0 overtime setback on the road at Johns Hopkins University, stopping seven shots along the way. She then spent another full-shift in front the Generals' cage in a 1-0 shutout of Kenyon College. She faced 16 shots in that outing, turning back all five on-goal.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC FIELD HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Thomas White | Bridgewater | Jr. | Forward
White, a junior from Virginia Beach, Va., started off the new season with a six-point week as he had a hand in four of the five goals scored by Bridgewater in a pair of non-conference victories. The 2-0 is a first for BC men's soccer since the 1998 season. White provided the assist on Caleb Needle's 70th minute game-winner in a 2-1 season-opening victory over Bethany. He followed with the Eagles' first two goals against Sewanee, the latter proving to be the game-decider. He added an assist on BC's third goal in a 3-1 triumph over the Tigers.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC MEN'S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Caitlin Mertens | Lynchburg | Sr. | Forward
Mertens, a senior from Succasunna, N.J., scored not one but two game-winners over the weekend as the nationally 16th ranked Hornets opened the season with a pair of one-goal victories. In a victory over Gettysburg, Mertens ran on to a tidy slip pass from Hannah Olds and deposited a low shot past the Bullets goalkeeper for a 97th-minute winner. Mertens game-decider came much sooner in game two of the Shellenberger Classic, a 1-0 win over Marysville (Tenn.) College. She converted off a cross from Kennedy Jakubek in the 51st minute to provide the winning margin.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Rachel Gaston | Bridgewater | Jr. | Outside Hitter
Gaston, a junior from Mechanicsville, Va., posted personal career-high numbers four times during Bridgewater's 3-1 showing at the 2018 Route 42 Classic, which BC and Eastern Mennonite University joint-hosted over the weekend. Gaston smacked 64 total kills (4.27/set) to go along with 73 digs (4.87/set) and 10 aces on the way to accounting for 75.5 points (5.0/set) over the four matches. She opened with career highs of 24 kills and 28 digs with four aces in a 3-2 win over Marymount (Va.). Her production continued in a 3-2 win over Salem on day two as she matched her new career-best kills mark with 24 more winners to go along with 19 digs and a new personal match-high five aces. Gaston capped her weekend with a third double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs in a 3-0 setback to Catholic. She earned a spot on the Route 42 Classic All-Tournament Team for her efforts.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Skyler Lattuca | Virginia Wesleyan | So.
Lattuca, a freshman from Middle Island, N.Y., opened his collegiate career in winning fashion as he claimed medalist honors at the Bridgewater XC Challenge. Lattuca finished the five-kilometer course in 16:12.26, more than 38 seconds clear of the second place finisher. His efforts helped Virginia Wesleyan to first in the team standings with 49 points.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE WEEK

Samantha Yates | Washington and Lee | Sr.
Yates, a senior from Birmingham, Ala., made a strong return to a cross country course at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Competing in her first race since the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships, Yates finished fourth overall behind three runners from Virginia Tech with a time of 14:43.50 over the four-kilometer track in Blacksburg. Her efforts helped the Generals to third overall with 64 points.

Click to learn more about the past week in ODAC CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE WEEK