May 23, 2024

Preston Judd, sophomore kinesiology major and forward on the men’s soccer team, was named Western Athletic Conference offensive Player of the Week Sept. 3 after scoring two hat tricks on the first week of the season.

In soccer, a hat trick is when a player scores three consecutive goals in a single game.

“Preston has obviously had a good start in terms of his goal scoring,” said Coe Michaelson, head coach of the men’s soccer team. “To be tied for first in the country (in goals scored) is cer- tainly no small feat, but the reality is that he is capable of a lot more and he knows this.”

Judd said he was surprised he was able to score the three goals on the first game of the season.

“First game of the season we were not expecting it,” Judd said. “We came out strong, and the opponent wasn’t as good as we expected. We had a couple chances in the beginning and everybody around me kept giving me the ball. I just had to put it away.”

Judd said his second goal of the first game was the most memorable to him.

“That was a cross from our left winger to Chris Heckenberg (sophomore engineering major and midfielder) and he laid it back to me and I volleyed it in,” Judd said.

Michaelson said Judd’s impressive achievement has had a positive e ect on the team as a whole.

“The guys are always happy to see a teammate do well and it provides something to rally around,” Michaelson said. “We have a lot of very talent- ed attacking midfielders who I believe take pride in creating goals for our strikers.”

Michaelson said he believes Judd’s brilliance is also the result of other players of the team.

“Don’t misunderstand me, like Aidan (Lancers soccer team alumni, now playing in Major League Soccer), Preston is very talented and I really think MLS is a realistic level for Preston to shoot for, but he has some very talented creative players around him pulling the strings who don’t get enough credit,” Michaelson said.

Judd said despite his success thus far, he thinks the transition to Division I has been difficult.

“The DI players are more athletic. They’re really hard to get around,” Judd said.

However, Judd said he believes winning the first conference title in DI is a realistic goal for the team.

“I’m ready. We’ve been working for this and our goal istoendupatthetopofWAC,” Judd said.

Judd added to his collection of goals with two during a home game against Hope International contributing to a lopsided 4-0 win.

The soccer team has a record of 5-2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the WAC.

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