W-League News Release
Saturday, July 27, 2013
BRADENTON, Fla. – The W-League announced its 2013 regular season honors tonight, naming the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year at its Awards Banquet at the 2013 W-League Championship presented by Nike in Bradenton, Florida. Voting was conducted by W-League coaches and general managers.
The keynote speaker at the event was National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Executive Director Cheryl Bailey, who attended the W-League and W-20 championships ahead of the exciting conclusion to the NWSL’s first season. The former general manager of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Bailey spoke about her path through women’s athletics, and the progress the sport has made in the United States in the past 30 years.
The 2013 W-League Championship concludes Sunday with the Pali Blues facing the Laval Comets at 2:30 p.m. at IMG Academy. The final, as well as the consolation match between the Carolina Elite Cobras and Washington Spirit Reserves, will be streamed live on www.USLNation.com.
Most Valuable Player & Rookie of the Year – Shan Jones, Virginia Beach Piranhas
Jones had a memorable rookie season with the Piranhas, leading the league in goals (11) and Points (24) as Virginia Beach compiled the best regular-season record in the league at 10-1-1. A 2011 Middle Tennessee State graduate, Jones has represented her native Wales on the international stage and earned Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and first team All-Sun Belt honors during her tenure with the Blue Raiders.
Defender of the Year – Blakely Mattern, Carolina Elite Cobras
A 2009 graduate of the University of South Carolina where she was a two-time All-American, Mattern led the Cobras to their first Southeastern Conference title with two goals and an assist while serving as the team’s leader on defense. Mattern was a member of the Atlanta Beat of WPS in 2009-10, and joined Dutch side FC Twente in 2011.
Coach of the Year – Cindy Walsh, Laval Comets
Walsh is honored for the second consecutive season, but in a much different role. A year after being named the league’s top defender, Walsh stepped behind the bench and guided the Comets (8-1-3) to the top of the Central Conference and their first appearance at the W-League Championship. Of course, with Walsh at the helm the Comets allowed the fewest goals in the league, surrendering seven in 12 regular-season games.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Genevieve Richard, Laval Comets
Richard led the league with six shutouts in 11 games and was second in goals-against average at 0.545 and wins with seven. Preparing for her junior season at the University of Wisconsin, Richard was Canada’s starter at the FIFA U17 World Cup in New Zealand in 2008. Richard’s presence at the back has been one of the main reasons for Laval’s 2013 success.