CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Following a five-point performance against Pitt on Friday, Virginia’s Phil Horton has been recognized by Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News as the nation’s player of the week. The ACC named Horton its Offensive Player of the week while goalkeeper Holden Brown was named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday (Oct. 4).
Horton claims the national honor following a heroic performance on the road at No. 10 Pitt where he was involved in each of Virginia’s goals on the way to a 3-1 victory.
Horton was an early catalyst for Virginia as he got the game off to a flying start with a goal in just the second minute of play. After the score was leveled before halftime, it was an incisive pass from Horton that set up an easy flick on to Reese Miller who put the Cavaliers ahead once more. The high-pressing style of Horton and his strike partner Leo Afonso paid off late as Afonso forced an errant pass from Pitt high up the field. Horton was quick to collect the ball and fire it home to seal Virginia’s second consecutive victory over a top-10 opponent.
Horton’s five points mark a career-high for the forward and rank as the third-highest single-game total of any ACC player this season. His pair of goals at Pitt bring his season total to four, just one behind Leo Afonso and Kome Ubogu for the team lead. Horton’s 10 points this season ties him for the fifth-highest total in the ACC this season. He becomes the first Cavalier to record multiple goals in a match this season.
Holden Brown was honored as the ACC Co-Defensive Player of the week following an outstanding performance in goal at No. 10 Pitt. Brown recorded a season-high six saves in the match while routinely coming off his line to smother chances before they could develop for the panthers.
Brown put his stamp on the game in the 80th minute of play as a curling shot from Pitt was destined for the top corner of goal. With an outstretched left palm and a diving effort, Brown forcibly pushed the ball out of play to clear the danger. Brown and his defense have kept the second-most clean sheets in the ACC this season. Brown shares the weekly honor with Syracuse’s Russell Shealy.
Horton and Brown become the second and third Cavaliers to earn ACC weekly honors this season after Andreas Ueland was named Defensive Player of the Week following Virginia’s win over No. 3 Syracuse on Sept. 24.
Virginia takes on No. 13 Denver tonight (Oct. 4) before facing off with Duke on Friday (Oct. 7). Virginia trails the Blue Devils by just one point at the top of the ACC Coastal Division standings.