First off, congratulations to the Maryland Capitols for earning a home playoff game as the #3 seed in the Northeast Atlantic Conference of the WPSL. That will take place this Sunday at 3 pm at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center as they take on the #6 seed Syracuse Lady Knights.
Also kudos to the DC United Women, who earned the #1 seed in the W-League’s Eastern Conference and the right to host the conference playoffs. Those will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, with the #2 team playing #3 Saturday at 3:30, and DC playing the #4 seed – which will be either the Fredericksburg Impact or the Virginia Beach Piranhas – at 6. Then the final is Sunday at 4 pm. All games will take place at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium.
But on to the Players of the Week.
Goalkeeper – Hanit Schwarz, Maryland Capitols. Schwarz kept a clean sheet in the game that earned the Capitols a home playoff match, and had to make some key saves in order to do so.
Defender – Jess Hnatiuk, Chesapeake Charge. She had a strong game up in Boston to keep the team in the game for most of the match. Honorable mention: Becky Sauerbrunn, DC United Women, who scored a goal in her final match on these shores before heading off to play in the Olympics.
Midfielder – Cheyenne Skidmore, Chesapeake Charge. Skidmore scored the team’s lone goal against Boston and narrowly missed on two other occasions. Honorable mentions: Kaley Blades, Maryland Capitols, who had another characteristically strong performance against the Penn Legacy Inferno to help her team to the win. Andi Sullivan, DC United Women, who did not look at all like a 16-year-old as she played two midfield positions and scored a goal against the Dayton Dutch Lions.
Forward – Ashley Herndon, DC United Women. And Herndon didn’t look like a 17-year-old as she chalked up an assist and an impressive single-handed goal in DC’s final regular-season home match. Honorable mention: Diana Barrera, Maryland Capitols, who scored a goal and would have gotten an assist as well had her shot been sent in by a teammate rather than an opposing player.
Overall Player of the Week: A close call here, but we’ll give Schwarz the nod over Herndon. We haven’t shown goalkeepers much love since the beginning of the season.
Previous Players of the Week:
Week 1: Didi Haracic, GK, DC United Women
Week 2: Mikaela Howell, F, DC United Women
Week 3: Alexis Prior-Brown, F, ASA Chesapeake Charge
Week 4: Mikaela Howell, F, DC United Women
Week 5: Ali Andrzejewski, F, Maryland Capitols FC
Week 6: Mikaela Howell, F, DC United Women
Week 7: Molly Menchel, D, DC United Women
Week 8: Lianne Sanderson, M, DC United Women