Rakhmonberdiev's four goals, one assist earns USA South honors

Rakhmonberdiev's four goals, one assist earns USA South honors

Maryville College's Johnny Rakhmonberdiev earned USA South Player of the Week honors on Monday after scoring four goals and an assist last week.

The sophomore midfielder helped the Scots to a 3-0 mark on the week, averaging more than one goal per contest. Rakhmonberdiev has helped Maryville to a 9-1 start to the 2017 season that includes a 5-0 USA South mark.

The Scots are currently the only USA South squad with an unblemished record in conference play.

"It's been good," Head Coach Pepe Fernandez said. "When you lose somebody of Caleb's caliber and Timmy's caliber that could consistently put the ball in the net, to have somebody to be able to step in and put goals in right away, it is a really nice thing as a coach."

Rakhmonberdiev took over former All-American Caleb Lucas' number, and has taken the role as leading scorer in stride, as well.

The sophomore has recorded seven goals, as he ranks seventh in the USA South in that category this season. He earned four of those this week, while adding an assist for a total of two on the year.

After Berea jumped to an early lead 1-0 in the opening half, Rakhmonberdiev tallied the equalizer in the 67th minute. He took a Randy Reichenberger pass, and deposited it past the keeper for his fourth goal of the year.

In the 53rd minute of the contest against LaGrange College, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound midfielder took a free kick from 20 yards out. He swifly directed a left-footed blast past the keeper for a 3-0 score.

Just one minute later, he would add his sixth goal of the season off an Andrew Sullivan corner kick. He headed the ball into the net, before Maryville took the victory, 6-0.

On Sunday, his performance was even more valuable, as Rakhmonberdiev had a hand in each of the goals over Centre.

He used another free kick from the right side, as Centre keeper Bailey Spade looked to have made the save in midair, but the side judge ruled that it had pushed the keeper into the net for Rakhmonberdiev's seventh goal of the year.

"It's good to see him putting the ball in the net," Fernandez said. "His free kick is just absolutely deadly. It off balanced the Centre keeper [resulting in a goal]. He just hits the ball so hard and with so much spin on goal that it's tough for anybody to deal with."

He would add an assist on a corner kick to Bret Thomas, as Maryville took the win, 2-0.

Rakhmonberdiev will look to keep the Scots' winning ways, as they travel to Brevard College on Tuesday, Oct. 3. The non-conference match is set for 6 p.m., before Maryville will host a key USA South weekend on Oct. 7 and 8.

The Scots will face Methodist University (8-3-1, 4-1 USA South) on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. before taking on N.C. Wesleyan College (5-5, 4-1) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.