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Cochrum, Fernandes players of week

Friday, September 19, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katy Watson
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By Matthew Stephens

 An outstanding play from goalkeeper Bryan Cochrum and midfielder Cristian Fernandes, kick off the Oklahoma Christian University men’s soccer team 2008 season.

Fernandes was named Sooner Athletic Conference offensive player of the week for Aug. 25 through 31, and Cochrum received the Sooner Athletic Conference title for defensive player of week for Sept. 1 through 7.
Fernandes, majoring in junior management, won the award after netting two goals for the Eagles in their first game of the season against Huston Tillotson University.

The Eagles won the game in shutout fashion 3-0. This marks the second time Fernandes has been honored as SAC offensive player of the week. During the 2007 season, Fernandes tied a school record scoring five goals in one game at SAC rival St. Gregory’s University on Oct. 13.

“It just shows that what I am doing on the field helps my team and my coach,” Fernandes said. “It shows that I am doing my job and that I am working hard every day.”

Fernandes, a native of Maringa, Brazil, led the team in goals, points and shots for the 2007 season.

In 2006 as a freshman, Fernandes was named SAC newcomer of the year and was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-Tournament team for his performance in the national tournament.

He has also been named second team All-SAC in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

“I have been playing soccer since I could walk,” Fernandes said. “Soccer is something that I like to do.”

Fernandes is working hard this season and is excited with the way his team is playing so far.

“We have played really well and really hard. The freshmen have showed they can be on the team and wear the Oklahoma Christian University jersey,” he said. “I think we are focused on the same goal, which is to make the national tournament. ”

Fernandes, who started the season with 23 carrier goals, likes his team’s chances this season.

“My freshman year, we finished in the top eight at nationals, and I think we have a better team this year,” Fernandes said. We just need to come out ready to play, and I think we can make nationals again.”

Senior goalkeeper, Cochrum, anchors the Eagles defense. Cochrum was named SAC defensive player of the week after grabbing 12 saves for the Eagles in a double overtime game against Park University that ended in a one all draw on Sept. 6.

“I was excited; I didn’t really expect it,” Cochrum said. “It was nice to have Cristian win SAC player of the week the week before. It is pretty cool to have the award two weeks in a row.”

Like Fernandes, Cochrum has also won the award before. His first came in October 2007 when he shutout Newman University. Cochrum enters the 2008 season having started 41 of the 42 games he has played in.

He also added to his career 12 shutouts in the Eagles season opener against Huston Tillotson. Cochrum has also been named 2007 NAIA All-American honorable mention, All-SAC second team and All-NAIA region VI.

“I think we have played great,” Cochrum said. “One of our main goals is that every time we step on to the field, every game, we play better than the game before.”

Cochrum, a mechanical engineering major, is also excited about his team’s chances this season and has high expectations for himself and for his squad.

“For myself, I feel like I need to be a leader on the field. I’m a senior, so this is my last year on the field, and I’m a captain, so I feel that I need to be a vocal leader and show the guys what kind of hard work they need to put in,” Cochrum said.

Cochrum wants the team to make it though conference in good shape.

“Obviously, our big goal is to win the conference and play in the national tournament. It would be a really big accomplishment for the team to play in Fresno, Calif. this year and play in the national tournament and get nationally ranked.” Cochrum said.

The Eagles have posted a record of one win, one loss and two ties so far in the season. Last weekend, the team tied Bellevue University one all in their second double overtime game this season and lost a game two goals to one against William Jewell University.
The Eagles will return to action Friday night at home against Texas College.

Photo by: Hillary Richt

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