GK Karen Bardsley Named WPS Player of the Week

Bardsley Recorded 13 Saves to Lead Sky Blue FC Past the Atlanta Beat, 1-0 (Photo by Howard C. Smith - ISI Photos)

Somerset, N.J. (Tuesday, May 11, 2010) – After registering 13 saves en route to her league-leading third shutout of the season, Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has been named the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Player of the Week. Many of Bardsley’s saves were done in spectacular fashion in a Sunday evening road win over the Atlanta Beat, 1-0, and her blank slate helped move Sky Blue FC into sole possession of second place in the WPS Standings.

“This is a huge honor, and it truly means a great deal to me,” Bardsley said. “It is a special feeling to get these individual accolades because it means that I am doing well, but the success of the team as a whole is really my only goal. When the team is winning, it makes an award like this so much sweeter.”

Bardsley put on a goalkeeping display in the win over Atlanta, and everyone has been quick to take notice of her dominating performance. On Monday afternoon, Bardsley was named Player of the Week by both Big Apple Soccer and Goal.com, but it was immediately after the match that she began to realize how special the night had been.

“The response after the game was crazy,” she reflected. “When I sat down in the locker room to call my parents, I had 37 text messages and a bunch of missed calls. To know so many people support me and Sky Blue FC is simply awesome. I’m really honored and flattered to know how much support there is for us out there.”

In addition to leading WPS with three shutouts, Bardsley’s 0.80 goals against average is tops in the league, and her 36 saves are 10 more than any other WPS goalkeeper. She also sits atop the league with a 0.90 save percentage.

The WPS Player of Week is selected by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters. Bardsley is the first Sky Blue FC player to win Player of the Week honors this season, and this is the fourth time overall that a player on the team has received the award. Goalkeeper Jenni Branam and forward Tasha Kai (twice) were each named Player of the Week during the 2009 season.

Next up for Sky Blue FC is a 4:00 p.m. pairing with Saint Louis Athletica this Sunday, May 16th. The team returns home to Yurcak Field when it hosts the Boston Breakers on Saturday, May 29th, at 7:00 p.m.

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