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True To The Cru’s Players of the Week presented by Duke Realty (Nov. 2-8)

The votes have been counted, and it is time to introduce True To The Cru’s Players of the Week presented by our gold sponsor, Duke Realty, for the week spanning from Nov. 2 to Nov. 8.

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Offensive Player of the Week: Jamaal Hamilton

Hamilton stepped up on UMHB’s game-winning drive, catching the final two of King’s three passes on the possession, setting up Anthony Avila for the field goal that won it, 27-24, for UMHB. He finished with seven receptions for 67 yards, setting season-highs in both catches and receiving yardage. 

Defensive Player of the Week: Johnny Smith-Rider

In an excellent performance for the UMHB defense, Smith-Rider was at the center of it all, finishing with 10 tackles, eight of which were solo, 2.0 for loss, and a sack. He also had an interception just before halftime, which set up the Cru offense in the red zone, as UMHB scored its second touchdown of the game and took a 14-13 lead. 

Special Teams Player of the Week: Anthony Avila

This one didn’t really even need a vote, as Avila came up with perhaps the play of the game, converting on a 44-yard field goal as time expired, lifting UMHB to victory. Battling wind, and kicking on an opponent’s field, Avila was clutch, coming through with the second game-winner of his collegiate career. He was 2-of-2 on field goals, and also a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs. 

Women’s Soccer Player of the Week: Kristen Burdick

UMHB shut out both McMurry and Hardin-Simmons on its way to an ASC title, and Burdick played a major role in both victories. Leading the Crusader back line, she earned ASC Tournament MVP honors, and was also named the ASC’s Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday. 

Men’s Soccer Player of the Week: Patrick Roach

The MVP of the ASC men’s tournament, Roach scored twice in the Cru’s 6-0 championship win over LeTourneau on Saturday. The senior forward also contributed a goal in the 5-1 semifinal win over UT-Dallas and put four shots on goal in the tournament. Roach is tied with Ethan Dacaret for the team lead in goals (8) and has a team-best 23 points this season. 

Volleyball Player of the Week: Hannah Frasca

Frasca led UMHB’s offensive attack in the ASC Tournament semifinal loss to ETBU, registering 14 kills and 14 digs for a double-double. She was a First Team All-ASC selection for the second straight year, and led UMHB with 270 kills in 22 matches played this season. The junior also had a team-best 15 points in UMHB’s lone tournament game.

Riley Zayas
Riley Zayas founded True To The Cru in November of 2020 with the goal to cover the stories behind the score and give UMHB fans a closer look at the Cru while promoting the student-athletes and coaches that wear the purple and gold every day. He is also a national contributor to and, in addition to serving as a D3 women's basketball Top 25 voter. His byline has also been seen in: Sports Illustrated Kids, Horns Illustrated, College Baseball Nation, and FCA Williamson County. Follow him on Twitter @ZayasRiley.

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