After posting 11 goals in four matches last week, sophomore attacker Madeleine Sanchez has earned Big West Conference Player of the Week honors, the league office announced Wednesday. Sanchez recorded multiple-goal efforts in all four of CSUN’s contests including registering four goals against nationally-ranked Harvard on March 17. For the week, she netted 11 goals, dished out 15 assists, compiled 10 steals and earned two field blocks for CSUN.
“Maddie has taken large strides into more of a leadership role in the water,” said head coach Marty Matthies. “Over the weekend, she had nearly the same amount of assists as she did goals, which is a difficult feat to accomplish. On top of that, she has been filling other roles in the water as well.”
Originally from Murrieta, CA, Sanchez enjoyed a strong freshman season with CSUN in 2015, finishing fourth on the team with 28 goals while also leading the team in assists with 29. This season, she has settled in as the team’s most dangerous offensive weapon, scoring 54 goals through the team’s 23 matches. CSUN’s leading scorer has also recorded career highs in assists (33), steals (41) and field blocks (7) while also tallying 11 earned ejections.
Last week, Sanchez boasted a series of impressive efforts in the Matadors’ four matches, helping CSUN to a 2-2 record. At the CSUN round robin tournament on March 17, Sanchez had a hand in 16 of the Matadors’ 29 goals on the afternoon. Against No. 18 Harvard, Sanchez tallied four goals, totaled three assists and picked up three steals as the Matadors just fell short to the Crimson, 15-13. Sanchez helped CSUN rebound against Redlands in the second game of the tournament by registering a season-high seven assists versus the Bulldogs while tallying two goals and three earned ejections in a 16-8 triumph.
She would carry over her strong play into the ZUMO LMU Invite on Saturday. She posted two more goals, three assists and a pair of steals in a 13-8 loss to No. 11 San Jose State. Sanchez followed up her balanced performance versus the Spartans by posting five more steals, two assists and a three-goal effort in an 8-6 comeback win over Whittier College.
Adding to her well-rounded play in the pool last week, Sanchez pulled off another outstanding performance in CSUN’s 13-12 home win over No. 23 Marist College on Monday. She netted six goals including hitting the go-ahead score late in the fourth period to lead her team to victory. She also collected an assist and three steals in the match.
Her performances last week continue a string of exceptional play for Sanchez. Over the last 12 matches, Sanchez has scored in 11 of those contests while amassing 25 goals.
“She is leaving the games with at least one tally in all of the positive stat columns and her turnovers and ejections against are down too,” added Matthies. “Hopefully her efforts along with the team are showing a move in the right direction as we head into conference play.”
Sanchez and the Matadors host Brown University on Tuesday, March 29 at 3 p.m. in the team’s final tune up before the start of conference play at UC Irvine on April 2.