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Louzada and Greenfield earn Crossroads League honors

HONORS: Senior forward Matheus Louzada and sophomore goalkeeper Gabe Greenfield earned the Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively, for their performances during the Crossroads League Tournament.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

Huntington University men’s soccer players senior forward Matheus Louzada and sophomore goalkeeper Gabe Greenfield were named as the Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively.

Louzada and Greenfield earned the honors after their strong performances during the Foresters’ Crossroads League Tournament victories over Bethel and Indiana Wesleyan last week.

Huntington defeated Bethel on Oct. 31 by a score of 2–1 in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals and triumphed over Indiana Wesleyan 3–1 in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals on Nov. 3. The win over Indiana Wesleyan sent Huntington to the Crossroads League Tournament Championship game.

Louzada score the first goal of the game during the Foresters’ victory over Bethel on what head coach Russ Lawson called a clinical finish. Louzada’s goal gave Huntington the momentum and confidence they needed to pull of the upset against the Pilots.

Louzada then exploded for a goal and two assists in Huntington’s win over Indiana Wesleyan. The goal, scored with 7:48 remaining in the game, would become the game-winning tally.

Louzada’s first assist in the game came via a free kick in which he sent a perfect ball into the box that was headed into the net by senior midfielder Miguel de Sousa to tie the game at 1–1.

Louzada then set up the insurance goal for the Foresters by dancing around a pair of Wildcat defenders before sending the ball to a wide open senior midfielder Ty Sproat, who made no mistake to give Huntington a 3–1 lead in the game and record Louzada’s third point of the contest.

“He’s definitely produced and been a key cog in that wheel, per se, for us,” Lawson said. “We know, as a team, we have to get Matheus on the ball. We have to get him making decisions because he attracts so much. He attracts the eyes, he attracts defenders, and so being able to play into him, play through him, is a key part to what we do. For him to be executing here at such a high level these two games in the playoffs is something that we’ve grown to expect.”

Meanwhile, Greenfield provided the sound goaltending Huntington needed to be successful in the tournament.

Greenfield recorded a combined seven saves, including some game-changing diving saves, in the Bethel and Indiana Wesleyan games to allow the Foresters to end up on top.

“One, he’s a fantastic shot stopper,” Lawson said. “(He is) very athletic and (has) quick reflexes, but it’s his calming presence back there that gives our back line that reassurance that they can play it back to him and so we can release the ball and get it up the field or we can maintain the ball and switch the point of attack with him. It’s critical. It gives us more possession. … Having that release point is a different dynamic that helps us out. He transferred in this year from Marygrove College and he’s been everything we’ve been wanting him to be. He’s a key piece to that defensive unit, that’s for sure.”

Louzada, Greenfield and the Foresters will return to the pitch for the Crossroads League Championship on Nov. 10 when Huntington will face the top-seeded No. 10 Spring Arbor for the Crossroads League crown. The winner will receive a spot in the NAIA National Championships field.