For the third week in a row, DePauw Tigers' Athletic Program has had multiple athletes awarded NCAC Player of the Week. This week, senior Paige Gooch (women's golf), senior Charles Castino (men's golf), and first-year Emma Ueland (women's soccer) were given the honor.
The trio makes seven total NCAC Player of the Week Awards since sophomore Keely McGrath and junior Jake Pezzuto's were announced on Sept. 9. Since then, DePauw has seen personal awards given in field hockey, women's cross country, women's soccer, and men's and women's golf.
For Gooch, a senior from Fort Mitchell, Ky., her congratulatory phone call from NCAC headquarters was the second in less than one month. On Sept. 3, Gooch was named golfer of the week after recording a two-day score of 154 at the Anderson University Invitational. The fourth-ranked Tigers' team shot a 630, and won first place at the tournament.
This past weekends' first-place team finish at the O'Brien National Invitational, however, was much more satisfying for Gooch and her four teammates.
"O'Brien is the biggest tournament we play this fall," Gooch said. "It was great for us to see competition across the country and move us up [in NCAA rankings]. We haven't won it [until] this year, so that was huge."
Despite a rough start last Monday at University of Notre Dame's Warren Golf Course, Gooch received team support from first-year Alexandria Ramirez and senior Abby Dickey. Ramirez, who attended Community School of Naples in Florida, shot 160 for the tournament, tying for ninth place.
Ramirez is one of three first-years who will benefit from a year of playing with Gooch, one of the University's most valuable women's athletes in the last half-decade. Gooch was named NCAC Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season.
Furthermore, the math and economics major was selected for the Capital One Academic All-America Division III Women At-Large team at the beginning of the summer. Gooch, who has a standing job offer with a corporate finance company in Indianapolis, has a cumulative grade point average of 3.68.
Charlie Castino, who netted the men's golf player of the week award, noted the difficulty Gooch must face in her athletic and academic success.
"It's extremely hard," Castino said. "We're gone on weekends and Mondays. When you take out weekends, you have to do all your work in that Tuesday to Friday frame."
In the Rhodes Fall Collegiate Classic, Castino led the Tigers to a ninth-place finish, shooting 144 in two rounds. The senior from Noblesville, Ind. had another strong performance this past weekend at Franklin College's Dick Park Invitational. The Tigers finished in fourth place, led by Castino's 150 two-round shot.
Castino has progressed in his game he arrived at the University from Noblesville High School in 2010.
"I worked at a golf course over the summer and got a lot of practice," Castino said. "This is my last year, I wanted to come in and be a leader... My freshman and sophomore year, I didn't buy in to anything."
One of the positive trends in the early season is the team's upward progression in tournament rankings. After finishing 12th at the Transylvania Fall Invitational, the nen's team finished ninth and fourth in their next two tournaments.
Castino and Gooch are joined by Ueland, a forward on the women's soccer team for the NCAC Player of the Week. Unlike Castino and Gooch, who are months away from their final days as college athletes, Ueland has only just started her tenure with DePauw's program.
Coming in from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., Ueland didn't know if she would play soccer in college. Unlike the bigger schools she considered, DePauw head coach John Carter promised Ueland that she would have a spot on the team, who went 7-11 in 2012.
In her first seven games as a college athlete, Ueland has recorded six points, tied with sophomore Stephanie Martin for the most on the team. Ueland has quickly adjusted to her role with the team.
"I didn't have a lot of expectations, I didn't know I was going to start," Ueland said. "I've had to re-evaluate myself as a player because now teammates rely on me... Now I can prepare better. I worked hard this summer, and didn't realize how big of an impact that would make."
Ueland led the 4-4 Tigers to two wins last week, which included their NCAC opener against Hiram College. Ueland scored two goals in the contest, both assisted by junior midfielder Chloe Jacob.
The Tigers have now won four games in a row, scoring ten goals in the winning streak. They return to play tomorrow afternoon at Kenyon College. The Kenyon squad has a freshman standout of its own. Cam Sacristan, a forward from Napa Valley, Ca., has already scored two goals this season.
DePauw's athletic program hopes to continue its success in this week of play. Women's golf, field hockey, volleyball, football, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's soccer return to action this weekend. The seven athletes that have been given NCAC Player of the Week awards in the past three weeks hope to lead their respective teams to victory.