Penn State Athletic News: No. 14 Men’s Soccer Sweeps Big Ten Weekly Awards

By Brenda June Temple

September 5, 2023

Alex Stevenson and Kris Shakes earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors

ROSEMONT, Ill.- No. 14 men’s soccer sweeps Big Ten Player of the Week awards for the first time since 2020. Kris Shakesearns his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Week nod and Alex Stevenson was named the Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference on Tuesday afternoon.

After garnering the first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week title of the 2023 campaign, the fifth-year keeper had two major performances between the pipes in Penn State’s games during the second week of competition. His five saves with a .833 save percentage against no. 1 Syracuse proved to be crucial in the team’s 1-1 result, coming up with big saves at key times. He added another four saves to his total against St. John’s to record the 17th shutout of his career while also moving him to no. 4 all-time at Penn State in career saves with 226. The Florida native owns a .895 save percentage after four games, ranking him at the top of the conference.

Stevenson had tremendously impactful minutes in both of the Nittany Lions’ tough matches this past weekend. Against the number one team in the country, Syracuse, he acted as the play maker for the Nittany Lions’ goal. The fifth-year defender broke down the right side of the field, juked the player in Orange and found his teammate in the box to assist the goal. His defensive efforts also held the Syracuse attack off, making stops on potential scoring opportunities. The Maryland native found a goal of his own in Penn State’s 2-0 shutout against St. John’s on Labor Day. His diving header of a goal was the third of his career.

The collection of both conference weekly awards is the first sweep for Penn State since Pierre Reedy and Shakes grabbed both titles in the spring of 2021 during the Covid-19 season. This is the seventh time in program history the team has claimed both Big Ten weekly awards.

The pair of fifth-year Nittany Lions return to action along with the rest of the team on Friday, Sept. 8 when the team hosts Penn in the final game in their four-straight home game stint.