Whitecaps FC women announce 2011 club award winners

Players honoured after terrific regular season

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are pleased to announce its club award winners for the 2011 United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League season. The awards recognize the contribution of Whitecaps FC players both on and off the field in helping the squad to the second best record in the W-League’s Western Conference, as well as qualifying for the W-League Western Conference Final slated to be played this Sunday July 24, 2011 in Santa Clarita, California.

Kelsey Hood and Tina Romagnuolo are co-recipients of this year’s Most Valuable Player Award after they both enjoyed a magnificent first season with Whitecaps FC. As team captain, Hood played an important leadership role. She anchored the midfield and even stepped into the backline at times throughout the year, notching one assist in 13 appearances while wearing the captain’s armband for head coach Hubert Busby Jr.’s squad. Romagnuolo paired with Hood to patrol the midfield and was an energetic presence all season long en route to registering one goal and two assists for four points on the season. Each player has played a vital role in the ‘Caps successful run to the W-League playoffs. Canadian international striker Melissa Tancredi was last year’s recipient of this award.

A tower of power on the backline, Lexi Marton is this year’s recipient of the Most Outstanding Defender award. Marton made 13 appearances on the season and was a force in the air as well as on the ground, helping the squad post a remarkable eight shutouts in 14 regular season matches. Current Whitecaps FC defender Martina Franko shared the honour with Robin Gayle last season.

Speedy forward Jen Stoltenberg is this year’s recipient of the Whitecaps FC Newcomer of the Year award after registering one goal and one assist for three points in 13 appearances. Stoltenberg’s speed and creativity on the wing were a catalyst for the ‘Caps scoring output all season long as the native of Mission Viejo, California was tireless in attack from the opening kickoff. Former ‘Caps goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain was last year’s recipient of the award.

An experienced leader on and off the field, goalkeeper Erin McNulty is the winner of this year’s Whitecaps FC Blue and White award, given to the player who best displays a willingness and effort to give back to the community. McNulty was heavily involved in a variety of Whitecaps FC camps and clinics to help develop and inspire young players, as well as initiatives benefitting various individuals and causes. Current Whitecaps FC forward Amy Vermeulen was the recipient of the award last year.

Finally, midfielder Tiffany Weimer has been named as this year’s recipient of the Fan Favourite award, as voted by the fans. In her first season with Whitecaps FC after a productive career in both North America and abroad, Weimer registered seven goals and four assists for 18 points in 14 appearances as she established herself as one of the premier offensive talents in the W-League. She also assumed the role of Whitecaps FC Women’s Ambassador for the duration of the season, helping to promote the game throughout the Lower Mainland. Former Canadian international striker Kara Lang was last year’s recipient of the award.

After a terrific regular season, the Whitecaps FC women now travel to face Santa Clarita Blue Heat in the 2011 W-League Western Conference final this Sunday, July 24, at College of the Canyons. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT. 

Whitecaps FC fans can follow the match live on whitecapsfc.com, twitter.com/whitecapsfc and facebook.com/whitecapsfc. Should the 'Caps triumph against Santa Clarita and win the Western Conference final, they'll qualify for the 2011 USL W-League Championship 'Final Four', hosted by the Seattle Sounders women from July 29 to 31 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.