W-League News Release
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – Boosted by a pair of four-goal games as well as a three-goal game, Long Island Rough Riders forward Grace Hawkins stands alone at the top of the scoring charts as the W-League announces its 2012 regular season honors.
Hawkins, who will lead the Northeast Division champion Rough Riders into this weekend’s Eastern Conference Playoffs at the Maryland SoccerPlex, captured both the Scoring Champion and Goal Scoring Champion titles by virtue of her 17 goals and four assists for 38 points in 12 games played.
Hawkins, a former Hofstra and Villanova standout, finished a remarkable 14 points clear of Mexican Women’s National Team standout Veronica Perez of the Seattle Sounders Women in the Scoring Champion race, while Perez also finished six goals behind Hawkins in the Goal Scoring category.
Pali Blues and Italian Women’s National Team goalkeeper Anna Maria Picarelli turned in one of the stingiest seasons in recent years, allowing only three goals against while playing all but 11 minutes of the season to capture the Goals-Against Average Champion honors with a 0.216. Picarelli, who also led the league with 13 wins and 10 shutouts, will be a key factor when the Blues meet the Sounders Women Sunday for the Western Conference Championship.
Kristen Edmonds of the New Jersey Wildcats edged out Mikaela Howell of D.C. United Women for the Assist Champion honors, tallying eight assists in 10 games in the tightly-contested Northeast Division. The former Rutgers standout served as the main provider for teammates Yael Averbuch and Maya Hayes, who both finished in the top 10 in goal scoring.
The W-League playoffs kick off Saturday as Quebec City faces Hamilton and Laval meets Toronto in the Central Conference Semifinals, while the Eastern Conference Semifinals will see Charlotte facing Long Island and D.C. United Women taking on Virginia Beach. The winners will play for the conference titles Sunday, while the Pali Blues and Seattle Sounders Women will also meet Sunday to decide the Western Conference.
Ottawa will welcome the three conference champions for the 2012 W-League Championship Presented by Umbro July 27-29 to the Algonquin College Soccer Complex. The semifinals will be played on Friday, July 27 with the winners meeting for the 2012 W-League Championship on Sunday, July 29.
The W-League All-Conference Teams will be announced on Monday, July 23, followed by the All-League Team on Tuesday, July 24. The finalists for Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player will be announced on Wednesday, July 25, with the awards presented at the W-League Championship Awards Banquet in Ottawa on Saturday, July 28. Goalkeeper of the Year will also be presented at the banquet.