SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week (October 9, 2012)
George Velasquez, Men's Soccer
After producing one of the most prolific two-game stretches in recent memory, men’s soccer junior George Velasquez (Union City, N.J.) adds this week’s SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week award (10/9) to his résumé.
The Pirates have been on fire on the pitch, picking up wins in four of the last five matches. With home victories over Providence and Pittsburgh last week, SHU has already surpassed its overall and conference win totals from a year ago.
Velasquez played a prominent role in the two most recent triumphs, registering the highest scoring matches of his career.
When Providence came to town for a mid-week matchup, the Pirates were seeking their first BIG EAST win of 2012. Making his seventh consecutive start, Velasquez wasted no time in getting on the score sheet as he set up fellow junior Christian Battistesa (South Sound Brook, N.J.) for a sixth-minute strike that gave The Hall an early advantage. The Friars drew level in the second half, but Velasquez had the final word before the closing whistle. With 73 minutes gone, he collected a feed from Konrad Plewa (Maniowy, Poland) and cleverly chipped PC keeper Keasel Broome to provide the game-winner. The goal was his first of the season and gave him a then career-high three points for the night.
In a weekend matchup with the Panthers, Velasquez shone again as the star of an explosive SHU attack. Just over four minutes into the action, he finished from the top of the penalty area off a pass from classmate Max Garcia (Jersey City, N.J.), helping the Pirates move out on top early and setting the team’s mark for the fastest goal scored this season for the second consecutive match.
A little over 15 minutes later, Velasquez was well positioned as he provided the touch needed on an excellent cross from Battistesa to increase the lead to two and secure his first career multi-score game in the process. He also figured into the third of the Pirates four first half goals, getting his head on a cross from Chris Garcia (Rutherford, N.J.) and guiding it to a waiting Max Garcia who hammered it home for his team-leading sixth goal of the year. By the end of the night, Velasquez had set a career high for points in a single match for the second time in as many appearances.
With his eight points in two outings, Velasquez exceeded his career point total entering the week. With three goals and three assists to his credit, he now sits behind only Max Garcia (six goals, three assists) on the team’s scoring list for the season.
In recognition of his recent offensive eruption, Velasquez was placed on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the first time in his career.