Former Owen High goalkeeper named ASUN defensive player of the week

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Lipscomb goalkeeper and Swannanoa native CJ Graham was named ASUN defensive player of the week on Aug. 31.

CJ Graham, a redshirt freshman at Lipscomb University and native of Swannanoa, was named the ASUN defensive player of the week after two stellar performances against FIU and Miami, resulting in wins. 

"One of my former captains and outstanding players from our community," said Owen High soccer coach David Fiest. 

According to a statement from the university, goalkeeper Graham faced 26 shots and nine corner kicks in total over the course of both games, successfully making eight saves and not allowing a single goal. 

"We knew she had the ability coming into the season," said Lipscomb coach Kevin O'Brien in the university statement. "I think she has made some unbelievable saves in the first two weekends, and I couldn't be prouder."

The two victories in which Graham proved to be essential gave Lipscomb it's second and third clean sheets of the season. According to the university, Graham defended against five shots and five corner kicks near the end of the game against Miami, even making a diving save with an outstretched left hand to block a shot to the far corner of the net. 

"Any time you win a defensive award like this, it's not a one-player situation," O'Brien said. "It takes a team to get shutouts."

The saves made by Graham propelled the team to it's first ever 4-0 record start to the season. Throughout the university's NCAA Division I history, the Bisons have never managed to hang on to more than three straight clean sheet victories at the start of the season, according to Lipscomb Athletics. 

"I am just really excited for CJ. It's a great reward for all of her hard work," O'Brien said.