Nov. 10, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB forward Derek Rios was tabbed the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week, league officials announced on Monday. The award is Rios' first career weekly C-USA honor and the second weekly accolade for a men's soccer player this fall.
"Derek played a terrific game last Friday and is a big reason why we made it to the Conference USA Championship," UAB head coach Mike Getman said. "He has had a tough year as far as struggling with injuries and such, so for him to earn this honor shows how hard he has worked this season. I am very happy for him and glad that he was recognized by the league office."
Playing in his final game at West Campus Field, Rios accounted for a career-best two goals, including his team-leading third game-winning goal of the season, in a 3-0 win over Marshall. Rios put his team on his shoulders when they needed it most, as the Blazers' victory lifted UAB into the C-USA Championship for a 14th consecutive season.
Rios' game-winner came in the 11th minute of play when he scored on a nifty topspin flick over the goalkeepers head to give UAB a 1-0 lead. Rios also sealed the victory in the 51st minute when he scored UAB's third goal of the game. For the season, Rios has a team-best five goals and 11 points.
Rios will lead the UAB men's soccer team into the 2008 C-USA Championship this week in Dallas, Texas. The Blazers will open the event when they square off against the No. 1 seed Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. CT.
The game can be followed live on Gametracker by logging onto UABsports.com, or by going to the C-USA men's soccer championship website by clicking here.