GREENVILLE, N.C. – For the third consecutive week, Haley McWhirter of the East Carolina soccer team has been named the AAC Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon. Joining McWhirter in being honored was Tori Riggs, as Riggs earned a spot on the AAC Weekly Honor Roll.
“This is a great time for Haley to be productive for us,” said head coach Jason Hamilton. “She has been dangerous every games starting back in the preseason. Hitting the back of the net can become contagious for a scorer like Haley and it’s happening at a great time.”
McWhirter became the first Pirate to win a pair of Rookie of the Week awards when she won the award last week and she is now just the second AAC player to earn the honor in three consecutive weeks, joining UCF’s Vera Varis in 2015. McWhirter is the seventh player overall to win three Rookie of the Week awards in the same season, with three players holding the record at four.
Since the start of conference play, McWhirter has been on a tear offensively. The Magnolia, Texas., native has racked up nine points in six conference games, which leads the AAC. She is also tied for the league lead with four goals in league play and leads the Pirates with 11 points on a team-high five goals and one assist. This past weekend, she scored the opening goal for East Carolina and provided the assist on Riggs’ goal in a 2-2 draw at Tulsa. With her goal, she became the fourth ECU rookie to score at least five goals in her freshman campaign and the assist tied her with Kim Sandhoff for the seventh-most points by an ECU rookie.
Like McWhirter, Riggs had three points against Tulsa, as the Croatan, N.C., native set up McWhirter’s opener and then raced in to score a goal of her own in the 74th minute. The three points were a career-high for Riggs who now has 32 career points on 12 goals and eight assists. It is the first time that Riggs has been named to the Honor Roll in her career. She was also named the AAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 14, 2019.
“Tori has come on strong lately,” Hamilton said. “She is a team-first player. This weekend was a great example. We had to move players around with all the injuries we have. Tori played in a brand new spot on the field and still found a way to get a goal and an assist.”
East Carolina will have a pair of home games to close out the regular season. First up is a battle against UCF on Thursday night in Johnson Stadium before the regular season comes to a close with a matchup against Memphis on Sunday afternoon. Admission to both matches is free for all fans.