SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State's Benji Kikanovic was named the Big West's co-Offensive Player of the Week and Arath Chavez was named the league's Freshman of the Week, the league announced Monday.
Kikanovic, a sophomore forward out of Antelope, Calif., recorded a hat trick in last Thursday's 4-2 win over San Francisco, the first of his career and the first for a Hornet in 15 years. Kikanovic became just the fifth player in program history to score three goals in one game and the first since 2004. He took eight total shots in two matches.
He shares the weekly award with UC Santa Barbara's Thibault Candia, who also had a hat trick this past week.
Chavez, a redshirt freshman from Galt, Calif., had an impact on both matches this past week. In Thursday's 4-2 win, Chanvez assisted on two of Kikanovic's three goals. He helped to spark the scoring by assisting on each of the first two scores, first in the 27th minute and again in the 31st. Then, on Sunday, Chavez scored the equalizer against Pacific, making it a 1-1 match and forcing overtime. The goal was his second of the season and the second of his career.
For both Kikanovic and Chavez, the weekly conference honors are the first in their Sacramento State careers. They are also the first Hornets to receive Big West weekly nods this season.
Sacramento State (5-2-1) continues non-conference play with an extremely challenging weekend on the road at #5 Indiana and at #3 Saint Mary's on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Both games will stream online for fans to follow. More information can be found on the 2019 Men's Soccer schedule at HornetSports.com.