SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 24, 2017) – Three members of Western New England University's defensive and special teams units have received weekly awards from Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) following the Golden Bears' 21-14, comeback victory over Husson University on Saturday.
Senior safety Sam Olsson (Milford, Conn.) was recognized as the CCC Football Defensive Player of the Week, while sophomore punter Vinny Lalumia (Maywood, N.J.) earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors and freshman cornerback Zhaire House (Greenwich, Conn.) collected Defensive Rookie of the Week accolades.
The duo of Olsson and House combined for a game-changing play late in the third quarter of Saturday's win over the Eagles. With Husson leading 14-0 and closing in on another score at the Western New England five-yard line, senior running back John Smith took a handoff at the right hash and cut left towards the end zone. He was met by Olsson at the five, but barreled forward towards the two-yard line. As the two players fell to the ground, Olsson stripped the ball out of Smith's hands, and House picked up the loose ball in stride before racing 94 yards all the way to the Husson three. On the very next play, Western New England sophomore Jamyre Soberanis (Dorchester, Mass.) took a handoff up the middle for a touchdown, cutting the Golden Bears' deficit in half.
Olsson also recorded a key interception midway through the fourth quarter as Western New England went on to rally for a 21-14 victory. The senior finished with nine tackles (seven solo) to go with the forced fumble and pick.
House contributed four tackles (three solo) and a pair of pass breakups in addition to his fumble recovery and 94-yard return.
Lalumia played an important role in helping the Golden Bears win the field position battle, as he punted six times with an average of 42.2 yards per kick. He had a long of 51 yards and pinned one kick inside the 20.
Western New England (2-2) will be back in action next Saturday with another tough test, as the Golden Bears host St. Lawrence University at 1 p.m.