MELBOURNE, Fla. - Coming off two shutout wins last week, Florida Southern's Claus Lehland is the Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Week, bringing to four the total number of award winners this season from the Florida Southern men's soccer team. The junior defender from Bergen, Norway played a vital role in the Moccasins' 1-0 non-conference win over Mary (N.D.) to start the week before they finished it with a 4-0 win at Embry-Riddle in SSC play.
In their two wins last week, the Moccasins allowed just 10 total shots, with only three of those on-goal. Mary had three shots in the first one, and just one after the nine-minute mark with Florida Southern in complete control of the game as the Marauders never came close to scoring in what was the Mocs' eighth shutout of the season. On Saturday, Embry-Riddle took seven shots, and three of those came in the final four minutes of the match with the Mocs already up by four goals.
Lehland also played a role in three of Florida Southern's five goals last week. The lone goal against Mary in the 58th minute came after Lehland won the ball in the back third for the Moccasins to start their attack. He then assisted the second and third goals in the win at Embry-Riddle, with the first of those coming on a long free kick from the center circle, perfectly served for Daniel Moore's header. He became the first Florida Southern defender in 11 years with two assists in one game, and it gave Lehland three for the season. The Moccasins went on to complete their ninth shutout of the season, leaving them two shy of the school record set in 1997.
Lehland is the only defender to start every one of those games, with Florida Southern now owning a 0.77 goals against average and allowing 8.4 shots per game. The goals against average would be the second lowest in team history, and the shots allowed would be a new school record if it holds.
In addition to Lehland, Florida Southern has also seen goalkeeper Benny Yusufoglu (defensive), forward James Meehan (offensive), and midfielder Christoph Gums (offensive) honored by the Sunshine State Conference this season as players of the week. The four player of the week awards are the most for Florida Southern since 1999 when Mike Nance (offensive), Ken Praay (offensive), Bruce Manuel (defensive) and Bryan Amell (offensive) all won. The school record for a season is five set in 1997, with Cliff Dixon winning two of those awards.