Hudson, Gray snare MAAC honors
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 25, 2012 @ 10:41am
Canisius men’s soccer’s 7-1-2 start is still a little mind-blowing. Dermot McGrane’s team was 4-14-1 last season with nearly the same roster! After Gavin Falconer captured Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week in weeks two and three, Canisius swept the offensive and defensive categories in week five after a 1-0 win over Big 4 rival St. Bonaventure and a 3-0 thumping of St. Francis.
Junior midfielder Will Hudson and senior net-minder Kareem Gray earned Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player Week honors, respectively. Hudson notched Canisius’ first hat-trick this century with two penalty kicks and a
Hudson’s goal-scoring explosion came as a mild surprise Sunday, as he’s a converted defender who carved out a role at defensive midfield. He struck both his penalties soundly, however, and he’s been reliable both positionally and technically. The Englishman has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle behind standout attackers like Falconer, Asani Samuels, Regan Steele and Jared Ott, but he certainly had his coming out party this past weekend.
Gray didn’t allow a goal in both weekend contests, but he wasn’t challenged against St. Bonaventure’s anemic offense and St. Francis’ shots were really on-frame (four of 14 on goal). Still, he’s the defense’s best communicator and organizer, and consistency from Gray could be the difference between a decent finish in the MAAC and a conference title.
With MAAC play approaching Oct. 5, we’ll be able to determine whether the Griffs’ quick start was a function of an easy out-of-conference slate or if the club is truly a contender.