(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – After playing a key role during an undefeated week for the Montana State University Billings women’s soccer team, freshman forward Liberty Palmer was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week announced by the conference office on Monday.
Palmer scored two goals and provided an assist, for a conference-high five points during the Yellowjackets’ three matches last week. “I’m really happy for Liberty to win this weekly award, which really caps off what has been a fantastic first month for her in the program,” said MSUB head coach Stephen Cavallo. “She makes things happen on the field, and for her to execute in the most crucial moments of the game is really encouraging to see. We are looking forward to her entering GNAC play and continuing to build on a great start to her MSUB career.”
Palmer got her week started on the right foot, with an important touch during MSUB’s 1-1 double-overtime draw at University of Mary last Monday. The striker fed the ball to Jordan Roe inside the goal box, and the latter scored the game-tying goal in the 74th minute to help the ‘Jackets preserve the draw.
Although Palmer scored in her very first collegiate appearance – netting the game-winner in MSUB’s 1-0 exhibition win at Rocky Mountain College on Aug. 21 – her first official goal came at the outset of Thursday’s convincing 3-0 win over Minnesota State University Moorhead. Running onto a through ball from Taylor Gertsch, Palmer calmly nudged a shot with the outside of her right foot just inside the near post for what proved to be the game-winning strike.
In Saturday’s rematch against the Marauders, Palmer struck again with a 58th-minute goal to give her team a 2-0 cushion. The roles were reversed this time, as she fed a give-and-go to Roe who laid the ball off to Palmer with a brilliantly-placed through ball past the back line. From there, Palmer touched home a low shot past the goalkeeper to help secure the victory for MSUB.
After the first two weeks of the 2021 season, Palmer is tied for second in the GNAC with five total points and her 13 shots are second-most in the league as she is averaging 2.6 shots per game. Palmer has placed nine of her 13 strikes on target for a shots-on-goal percentage of 69.2, and she is averaging 68 minutes per game.
This is the first GNAC Player of the Week award for MSUB’s women’s soccer team since Katlyn Lokay earned the honor on Nov. 2, 2015. The Yellowjackets (3-1-1) are off this week as they prepare to begin their 10-game GNAC schedule. First up for MSUB in conference play is a road match at Seattle Pacific on Sept. 23 and a home game against Central Washington on Sept. 25.