Major League Soccer named Minnesota United defender Ike Opara its player of the week Monday after he scored twice in Saturday’s 5-2 victory at San Jose.
The two-goal game was the second of his career. He scored twice in a victory over FC Cincinnati last season, when he was named at season’s end MLS Defender of the Year for the second time.
Both his goals Saturday came on set pieces when he headed Jan Gregus’ corner kicks past goalkeeper Daniel Vega. He scored the game’s first goal in the 13th minute and its last, in the 71st minute. He also created Robin Lod’s goal in first-half stoppage time after Opara was pulled down in the penalty box on yet another corner kick. Vega stopped Luis Amarilla on the penalty kick, but Lod scored by burying the rebound.
“Didn’t know I would get three opportunities to cause and create goals, so I’ll take that,” Opara said.
NCAA Division III hockey
Gustavus Adolphus secured a berth in the 10-team women’s bracket and St. Thomas clinched a spot in the 12-team men’s field for the NCAA Division III hockey tournaments.
The MIAC regular-season and playoff champion Gusties (21-5-2) will open the tournament Wednesday against host Wisconsin-River Falls; the teams split two regular-season meetings. The winner will advance to play UW-Eau Claire on Saturday.
MIAC men’s tournament champion St. Thomas (15-10-3) will play at Lake Forest (Ill.) on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals March 21 at Eau Claire.
MIAC award winners
Augsburg forward Bridget Wagner and Hamline forward Jordan Hansen shared MIAC women’s hockey Player of the Year honors. Hansen is Hamline’s first Player of the Year recipient in women’s hockey.
Gustavus’ Mike Carroll was chosen Coach of the Year, and Pipers defender Zoey Lobejko received the Sheila Brown Award, for leadership, sportsmanship, volunteer work, academic excellence and hockey skills and production.
Canterbury Festival change
Canterbury Park had moved the date of the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Racing Festival up one week, to June 20, position it on a less competitive day nationally in order to attract top trainers and horses with the and largest fields. The card features six stakes races, including the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby.