Christina Bragado named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week

Christina Bragado (17) kicks the ball against Belmont during their season opener at the WKU Soccer Complex on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.

Elliott Wells

Senior defender Christina Bragado has been named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in her career, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

Bragado earned the honor after directing the WKU soccer team to its 1-0 shutout victory over rival Middle Tennessee on Sunday evening.

The San Diego native previously received the weekly award twice during her 2017 sophomore campaign. Bragado’s three career weekly awards tie her for the second-most in program history alongside Amanda Buechel. The pair trails only the four won by former goalkeeper Allison Leone.

In just two weeks of the weekly rankings by the league office, a WKU defender has won the award both times. Junior defender Avery Jacobsen won the defensive award last week for leading to the Lady Toppers to a shutout for 200 consecutive minutes.

WKU (2-1-1) has only given up three goals in four matches, marking the fewest allowed at this point in a season since 2014, when the Lady Toppers gave up just two goals over the same timeframe.

Bragado has played every minute this season for the Lady Toppers, helping the squad record three shutouts in four matches played.

The only three goals that the Lady Toppers have given up this season came during a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime loss to Samford on Friday evening. 

On Sunday, Bragado took charge in slowing down one of the top offenses in the C-USA. Despite giving up 19 shots to the Blue Raiders, only four those shots were put on frame. 

The Lady Toppers were the first team to shutout MTSU this season, as the Blue Raiders entered the match having scored at least four goals in each of its three matches before the team’s shutout loss to WKU.

Bragado led WKU’s defense by shutting down C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Peyton DePriest, as the junior forward was held to only one off-target shot.

Bragado and the Lady Toppers will return to the WKU Soccer Complex on Thursday evening to host SEC power Mississippi at 7 p.m. The match will be the first match of a program-record seven-match home stand.

The two sides are set to meet for the first time in Bowling Green since Aug. 22, 2008, when WKU defeated the Rebels 2-1 in an overtime thriller.

Reporter Elliott Wells can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow Elliott on Twitter at @ewells5.