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MLC athletes honored by UMAC

Information courtesy of MLC Athletics

Football

NEW ULM — Martin Luther College sophomore kicker Micah Otto was named Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday.

Otto won the honor after a strong all-around performance in the kicking game in the team’s 24-14 win at Westminster on October 19. Otto went 3-3 on extra points and made a 33-yard field goal as the kicker, and also averaged 39.3 yards on seven punt attempts, with three of those punts finishing inside the Blue Jays’ 20-yard line.

Otto also averaged over 51.0 yards on five kickoff attempts to help the Knights’ defense pin down the Blue Jays’ offense for much of the game.

This marks the second time Otto won UMAC Special Teams Player of the Week honor. He previously won the award on September 16 following the Knights’ win over Rockford.

This season, Otto is 15-21 on extra point attempts and 2-3 on field goal attempts. He set the MLC single-season record for extra points made (39) as a freshman in 2018, and ranks fifth in program history with 54 made extra points for his career.

Otto and the Knights will return home to host Northwestern-St. Paul on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.

Men’s soccer

NEW ULM — The MLC men’s soccer team swept this week’s UMAC Player of the Week awards following a pair of wins last week. Senior Joe Graumann was named UMAC Offensive Player of the Week, while junior Joshua Higgins received Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Graumann scored both goals in the Knights’ 2-1 win over Minnesota Morris on October 15, and followed that performance with an assist on the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win over Northwestern-St. Paul on October 19.

Graumann’s two goals against the Cougars gave him a team-leading eight goals on the season, and moved him into a tie with Karl Valleskey for fourth on the MLC all-time goal scoring list with 36 career goals. His five points over the two games pushed him ahead of Valleskey into fourth place in program history with 89 career points.

Higgins was stellar in goal for the Knights in both games, allowing only one goal on a penalty kick against Minnesota Morris and stopping the other 18 shots on goal over the course of the two games. Higgins stopped five of six shots against the Cougars, and then saved all 13 UNW attempts to record his first career shutout.

After starting the season as a member of the Knights’ starting back line of defense, Higgins moved back to the keeper role and has started the last nine games at the position. He has allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his nine starts in goal, helping MLC to a 3-5-1 record during that time.

The Knights return to action on Wednesday, when they travel to Saint Mary’s for the final non-conference game of the season. That contest is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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