Sports

Stanford grads earn WPS postseason honors for Gold Pride

 

The FC Gold Pride enjoyed more success than any other team in Women's Professional Soccer this season, winning the regular-season title with a 16-3-5 record. Thus, it was no surprise when three Gold Pride players won four of the league's seven postseason awards on Thursday.

FC Gold Pride forward Marta as named the Michelle Akers Player of the Year as the WPS Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row. She also won the PUMA Golden Boot award as the league's top scorer.

Stanford grad Ali Riley was named the league's Rookie of the Year. In her first year as a professional, Riley has been an integral cog in the Pride's success in 2010. She was a regular in the Pride's back line, which, with the help of Riley, proved to be the best in the league.

Former Stanford keeper Nicole Barnhart was selected as the league's top goalkeeper for her stellar performance throughout the season. In her second year with the Pride, the steady play of the U.S. National Team veteran proved to be invaluable as she held opponents to the lowest goals against average in the league (0.88) and posting 8 shutouts, also a WPS-best.

Five separate awards were decided by fan voting (33 percent), player/coach voting (33 percent) and media vote (33 percent) during the final weeks of the regular season.

The Citi Sportswoman of the Year Award (Natalie Spilger, Chicago Red Stars) is voted on entirely by players and coaches, while the PUMA Golden Boot award is awarded to the top goal scorer during the 2010 WPS regular season.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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