By: Kelly Shipp
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A pair of senior soccer standouts captured this year's first Summit League Athlete of the Month awards announced by league officials on Friday. Denver forward Andre Shinyashiki earned the honor on the men's side, while North Dakota goalkeeper Olivia Swenson earned the honor on the women's side.
Shinyashiki picked up his second career Summit League Athlete of the Month honor, he also won it in October of 2017, after one of the best starts to a season in NCAA men's soccer history. Shinyashiki tallied 19 goals in just 10 matches through September, nearly double the goals scored of the second-ranked athlete on the list. Shinyashiki's offensive explosion helped Denver race out to an 8-0-2 record and skyrocket up the rankings, landing as high as No. 4 in both the United Soccer Coaches Poll and the Top Drawer Soccer Poll.
Swenson helped lead the Fighting Hawks to an impressive 7-2-1 record through August and September in their inaugural season as members of The Summit League. After stepping into the net following a preseason injury to reigning Big Sky Goalkeeper of the Year Catherine Klein, all Swenson did was shutout more than half of the opponents she faced (six). The Chaska, Minn. native ranks second all-time at UND with 295 career saves and counting.
Male Athlete of the Month
Andre Shinyashiki, Denver
Sr. | Forward | Sao Paulo, Brazil
• In 10 matches between August and September, Shinyashiki scored 19 goals and earned two assists
• He currently leads the nation in total goals (19), total points (40), goals per game (1.73), points per game (3.64), shots per game (5.27), shots on goal per game (3.45) and game-winning goals (7)
• Scored all four Goals in Denver's 4-3 Summit League opening win at Omaha
• Collected four hat tricks this season
• Prior to Denver's match against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 29), Shinyashiki had outscored all but 12 teams in the country (out of 205)
• Already a four-time Summit League Offensive Player of the Week this year; a two-time College Soccer News National Player of the Week; a Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week once; an United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week twice; and a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Also nominated: Scott House, Eastern Illinois; Tate Arends, South Dakota; Cody Burrows, Oral Roberts
Female Athlete of the Month
Sr. | Goalkeeper | Chaska, Minn.
• Posted a record of 7-2-1 in the net for the Fighting Hawks during August and September
• Registered six shutouts during that season-opening stretch, including a 1-0 victory in UND'S Summit League opener vs. Oral Roberts
• Currently ranks second nationally in goals-against average (0.203) and in save percentage (0.952)
• Has not allowed a goal on the road this season (UND is 5-0-1 away from Grand Forks)
• The Fighting Hawks eight wins so far this season are the most in the program's DI era (2008-present)
• Posted a streak of five consecutive shutouts between Aug. 17 and Sept. 5
• Named Summit League Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4
Also nominated: Jessica Harris, Eastern Illinois; Becca Latham, Denver; Kelby Anderson North Dakota State; Kerlee Manding, South Dakota State; Emma Rafuse, Purdue Fort Wayne; Jordan Langebartels, Oral Roberts University; Sydney Case, Omaha; Anne Rasmussen, South Dakota
2018-19 Summit League Athletes of the Month
Male: Andre Shinyashiki / Denver / Soccer
Female: Olivia Swenson / North Dakota / Soccer
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, and nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level.