NORFOLK, Va. (August 17,
2001) - In the Toronto Inferno's brief three-year
history there has been one constant, Tina
Blaskovic. Blaskovic has been the club's leading
scorer each season and has steadily moved up the
league rankings in scoring each year. This year,
Blaskovic scored 15 goals, and registered 33
points - both league highs. Last night, she was
named the W-1 League’s Most Valuable Player for
United Soccer Leagues made the announcements at the W-1 League Championship Banquet in Norfolk, Va. The league semifinals are set for tomorrow.
Blaskovic, 29, finally claimed the top spot in points and goals this season after finishing eighth in 1999 (22 points) and seventh in 2000 (22 points) in scoring. In the goal table, the Canadian National Team veteran finished tied for fifth in 1999 (11 goals) and fourth in 2000 (10).
Peter Bradley has led the Renegades to their second straight W-1 Championship appearance, and was honored as Coach of the Year. Bradley took over midseason in 1999 and leading the team to a 7-0 finish for a mark of 11-3, but missed the postseason.
Last year, he led the club to an 11-2-1 record, capturing the Northeast Conference title. The perennial powerhouse Raleigh Wings, however, denied the Renegades a shot at the title, handing Boston a loss in the semifinals.
This season was a different story. The Renegades started off as contenders for the Northern Conference title, but faded to third. Once Boston got into the playoffs, however, it didn't matter.
The Renegades traveled north of the border to hand the Inferno a 4-1 loss in the conference semifinals. They then turned around and traveled to Long Island to upset the third-seeded conference champion Lady Riders to qualify for tomorrow’s semifinal matchup against Maryland.
Last season, Allison Snooks led the Renegades to the postseason with a 0.90 goals-against average that ranked third in the league. Newcomer Angela Harrison stepped in this year and finished with even better numbers, fully deserving of the honor of W-1 League Goalkeeper of the Year.
Harrison finished the 2001 season with a 0.64 GAA, giving up nine goals in 14 games (1,267 minutes). Harrison finished second to Vancouver's Michele Gademans, who topped the list at 0.50.
Boston's Josha Krueger was named the W-1 League’s Defender of the Year. Krueger is not new to championship play or acclaim. The 25-year-old from St. Charles, Ill. helped lead the Chicago Cobras to four W-League championship tournaments in her five seasons with the team, including last year when they won it all.
Krueger saw action in 15 games for the Renegades this season, contributing on the offensive end as well with two goals.
W-1 League Rookie of the Year Kelly Golebiowski led the Hampton Roads Piranhas in points (21) and goals (9) in her first W-1 season, ranking fifth in the league in points and tied for third in goals. Tomorrow she leads Hampton Roads against Vancouver in the other semifinal.
In addition to playing for the Piranhas, the 20-year-old forward is a member of the Australian National Team. She has 34 caps with the Matildas and at the age of 14 years and 344 days, became the youngest player to represent her nation in a full international, making her debut against the United States on July 4, 1996 and represented her country in both the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 Olympics.
© The United Soccer Leagues & UMBRO.COM 2001
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