Steven Kramer | Daily TrojanTwo Trojans took home Player of the Week honors this week due to their weekend performances. Junior Gabby Smith was recognized on the women’s tennis team, while senior driver Stephania Haralabidis won the award for women’s water polo.Smith was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time in her career on Monday, after she helped USC top UC Santa Barbara in its season opener last Thursday. Smith dropped her doubles match to start the day, but she rebounded with a momentum-shifting 7-6 (5), 6-0 victory in singles play. Smith is currently riding a six-match unbeaten streak, including an undefeated weekend at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic earlier this month. During the tournament, Smith defeated Arizona’s No. 18-ranked Lauren Marker 6-0, 6-3. Smith and her doubles partner, senior Zoë Katz, are also currently ranked No. 18 in the nation.Haralabidis then earned MPSF Player of the Week honors on Tuesday. The senior tallied an incredible 17 goals in five games over the weekend, as USC stormed to a perfect 5-0 record at the UCSB Winter Invitational. Haralabidis scored in every single game of the tournament and also set a new career high with nine goals in the final game against hosts No. 9 UCSB — which also matched a single-game MPSF record. She has now scored on 202 occasions as a Trojan, eighth most in program history. Three more goals will push herup to No. 7.Both players will look to defend their titles this weekend. Smith and the women’s tennis team will head to Auburn, Ala. for the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Saturday, while Haralabidis and women’s water polo will make a trip to Riverside for the Cal Baptist Invitational, which also begins on Saturday.
Ex-Ghana striker Felix Aboagye has urged the Black Stars to settle their 2014 World Cup play-offs tie against Egypt at home.The Ghanaians will host the North African side in the first leg on October 13 in the second largest city of Kumasi before travelling to Egypt for the return fixture at a yet to be determined venue.The Pharaohs are a strong side at their own backyard and will prove a difficult to crack.The 37-year-old, who played for Egyptian giants Zamalek, wants the tie to be settled in the garden city.“Since they are coming away first they are going to pack their midfield, play one striker and rely on a counter attack. He told Radio XYZ“It is vital that we open up the game and make sure that we split their defense and get goals as soon as the game starts. “I am very happy going into this game because if you look at the game we played previously, we scored in all of them both home and away with the exception of the one against Zambia in Ndola and that can help us mentally in a match of that magnitude”“The match must be won in Kumasi in the 1st leg so as that it will calm nerves ahead of the second leg.“They will deploy all kinds of tactics to frustrate us in these games especially in the 2nd leg in their backyard so it is important to settle the tie in Ghana when they visit.”