NEW ORLEANS – Appalachian State women’s soccer goalkeeper, Lauren Burke (Mableton, Ga./Whitefield Academy), was named the Sun Belt’s Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Burke earns her first Sun Belt weekly honor after posting her first career clean sheet in a 0-0 tie against Old Dominion. It was the redshirt freshman’s first start of the season, playing all 110 minutes with five stops (three in the first period).
“We are very proud of Lauren and the entire team for working to earn this recognition,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “This team has been through significant adversity over the last 14 months with five season-ending injuries last year. Lauren was one of those season-ending injuries, and her journey over the past year is incredibly unique. She is a gift no one in this program takes for granted, and this recognition symbolizes the sacrifice and determination she has exhibited since day one to be back with her team.
It was an impressive outing for Burke, as ODU was one of the top scoring teams in the nation. The Monarchs came into the match ranked 14th in the nation with eight goals scored and 42nd in goals per game. It was the first time since 2016 the Monarchs were held scoreless at home.
The Whitefield, Ga., native has played 155 minutes this season and hasn’t allowed a goal with seven stops. She is first in the Sun Belt in goals against average (0.00), save percentage (1.000) and tied for first in shutouts.
“Lauren has fought through major medical setbacks to be able to be successful in both the classroom and on the field,” Strickland continued. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support of App Nation who stand behind these young women. A PBS special will feature Lauren later this season which hopefully many will watch and understand part of what she has been through over the last 14 months to make this even more special.”
Burke and the Mountaineers start a six-match homestand against South Carolina State on Friday at 7 p.m. at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.