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SPORTS FEATURE

Faingold Player of the Week for conference

Former Zebra earns Big Sky honors
By: Jackson Wagner for The News Messenger
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Redshirt senior Abbie Faingold entered the season as the captain and leader for the Portland State soccer team. In the opening weekend, she set the tone for the Vikings' season, recording a shutout against Texas Southern and finishing the weekend with nine total saves.

The stellar opening weekend had already earned the goalkeeper a place on the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley Tournament All-Tournament Team. Now, the Big Sky Conference is honoring Faingold with the first Defensive Player of the Week honors of the season. It is the second time she has been honored by the conference.

"She had a tremendous weekend for us. She's an exceptional athlete, has a focused mindset and knows what she needs to do each day to get better," Vikings’ associate head coach Maureen Whitney said. "She doesn't put a ceiling on her abilities, which allows her to consistently grow. She has a true understanding of what hard work can do. This has paid off for our team and will continue to in the future."

Faingold, who is climbing up the all-time record book in program history, had a .900 save percentage last weekend in Texas. Even in the loss to Oral Roberts, she made four saves in the second half to keep the Vikings in it until the end.

Her two starts at the UTRGV Tournament moved her past Lainey Hulsizer (2009-12) and Caitlin Plese (2011-14) into fourth all time in program history with 39 starts. She is also fourth all-time in goalkeeper minutes played.

Faingold passed Niki Brooks (2002-05) in career saves last weekend, moving her into third place all time with 167 saves. She also passed Brooks in career shutouts with the 12th of her career against Texas Southern. She now sits in fourth in Vikings’ history in that category.

She also picked up her 15th career win, moving her into a four-way tie for fourth in program history.

_Jack Wagner is a media relations assistant with Portland State Athletics.