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  • Steven Grandy / WCU

Trudel Named Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week

Western Carolina sophomore goalkeeper Leanne Trudel was named The Southern Conference women’s soccer Defensive Player of the Week as the league announced its first weekly awards of the 2023 season on Tuesday afternoon. The award is the first for Trudel in her Catamount career and she is the first Catamount to win the defensive award since the COVID-altered 2020-21 season.

The Longueuil, Quebec native combined to make six saves as she recorded a pair of shutouts in the first two matches of the season last week. In WCU’s season-opening 1-0 win at mountain-rival UNC Asheville, Trudel made four saves for her third career shutout. Of Trudel’s four saves, three came in the scoreless first half with her final stop occurring in the 86th minute as the Catamounts clung to the 1-0 advantage. During WCU’s scoreless draw with Queens in the home opener last Sunday, Trudel made a pair of stops in the second half as the Catamount backline limited the Royals to just four total shots through regulation time.

Entering this week’s matches, Trudel ranks tied for sixth in the SoCon with six saves.

The Catamounts hit the road for a pair of matches this week, venturing to Winthrop tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C., before facing UT Martin on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with free live stats available through a link at

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