PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers senior All-BIG EAST forward Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ) has been named the College Soccer News National Player of the Week, the online publication announced on Monday.
Karcz suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee early in the spring, leaving his 2004 season in doubt. The two-time All-BIG EAST forward rehabilitated throughout the summer and made his season debut last week against No. 21 Villanova. The second of his two shots nearly connected for a goal, but the ball sailed just high of the cross bar.
In his second game back on Friday against No. 3 Michigan, Karcz netted two goals as Rutgers upended the previously-undefeated Wolverines, 3-0. He hooked up with freshman Zach Simi (East Brunswick, NJ) twice in the contest, scoring the Scarlet Knights’ first and second goals. His first score marked the sixth game-winning goal of his career, moving him into 10th place on the school’s all-time list.
“Chris’ performance was remarkable,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “He is one of the fiercest players I have ever coached. To comeback and not be ‘match fit’ and to play on the level he did is really amazing. I think this is a fitting honor and I am delighted for him.”
He is part of the College Soccer News National Team of the Week, joining BIG EAST players Guy Melemad (Boston College) and Rusty Girton (West Virginia).
Karcz is the second Scarlet Knight to receive National Player of the Week honors in as many years as just over a year ago, Josh Gros was tabbed with the honor on Sept. 22, 2003.
Rutgers (3-3-2) hosts the 19th annual Philips/adidas Soccer Classic this weekend. RU will play College of Charleston on Friday at 8 p.m. and Hartwick on Sunday at 4 p.m. St. John’s will open the weekend tournament with a match against Hartwick on Friday at 5:30 p.m. College of Charleston will face the Red Storm on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.