W-League News Release
Saturday, July 28, 2012
OTTAWA, Ont. – The W-League announced its 2012 regular season honors today, naming the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year at today’s Media & Awards Banquet at the 2012 W-League Championship presented by Umbro in Ottawa, Ontario. Voting was conducted by W-League coaches and general managers.
Most Valuable Player – Grace Hawkins, Long Island Rough Riders
Long Island forward Hawkins ran away with the scoring and goal-scoring titles in the W-League in 2012, and she ran away with the MVP voting as well. A former Hofstra and Villanova standout, Hawkins made her W-League debut in 2003 for Long Island, and her hard work and perseverance paid off with a career season in 2012 as she tallied 17 goals and 38 points in 12 games for the Northeast Division champions.
Rookie of the Year – Lynn Williams, Pali Blues
Coming off a standout freshman season at Pepperdine, Williams led the Western Conference champion Pali Blues with 10 goals and 23 points in 11 matches. Williams tallied the goal that earned Pali the Western Conference crown in a 1-0 win against the Seattle Sounders Women, and will home to strike again in Sunday’s championship game.
Defender of the Year – Cindy Walsh, Laval Comets
Another W-League veteran, Walsh made her debut in 2004 with Western Mass and has anchored the Laval defense since 2006. She played every minute in 2012 as Laval fell short of reaching the W-League Championship weekend after falling against Quebec City in penalties. The former University of Hartford standout was previously named to the All-League Team in 2008.
Coach of the Year – Charlie Naimo, Pali Blues
Naimo led Pali to its third undefeated regular season in five years in 2012, and the Blues will be looking to become the first three-time W-League champion when they face Ottawa in Sunday’s title game. Naimo’s tenure in the W-League dates back to 1998 with Central Jersey, and he has led Pali to a 44-5-13 regular season mark in five seasons.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Anna Maria Picarelli, Pali Blues
Picarelli appeared in all but 11 minutes during the 2012 season and is a big reason why the Blues allowed only three goals in 14 games in the regular season and have not conceded in the postseason. Picarelli, who starred at Pepperdine and represents Italy at the international level, led the league in wins (13), shutouts (10) and goals-against average (0.216) in 2012.