Loyden Earns WPS Player of The Week Honor in First Start

Kathy KentchContributor IMay 26, 2009

St. Louis Athletica's back-up goalkeeper Jill Loyden earned WPS Player of the Week honors after her brilliant performance Saturday against the Chicago Red Stars. Loyden is the first goalkeeper in the league to earn the honor. You can see the saves that earned Loyden POTW honors here.

ST. LOUIS (May 26, 2009) - Saint Louis Athletica goalkeeper Jillian Loyden was named Player of the Week in the WPS, Women’s Professional Soccer, for Week 9 of this inaugural season. Loyden, filling in for Hope Solo who was on duty with the United States National team, was instrumental in propelling Athletica to a 2-0 win on Saturday night at Toyota Park in Chicago. Loyden made two crucial saves in the first half. In the 17th minute Loyden was able to get a hand on a strong header from Chicago’s Cristiane. Loyden tipped the ball over the bar preserving a tie game. In the 38th minute Loyden denied Karen Carney’s long range blast, again tipping the shot over the cross bar. Late in the second half Loyden stopped a blistering 85th minute drive from Frida Ostberg to keep the score line 2-0.

““Saturday was certainly a change of pace from practicing everyday,” said Loyden. “The transition was so easy thanks to my teammates and the coaching staff. I am just on cloud nine I am so excited.”

“This is what she has been practicing for. She gives us a lot of security in goal and with our defense,” said Head Coach Jorge Barcellos. “I am very happy that she has been chosen Player of the Week in the WPS.”

The WPS Player of the Week is voted upon by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters. Previous winners this year include Aya Miyama, Marta, and Aly Wagner of the Los Angeles Sol, Abby Wambach and Sonia Bompastor of the Washington Freedom, and Kelly Smith of the Boston Breakers. Athletica’s Lori Chalupny was named Player of the Week for Week 7 earlier this month.

The next Athletica game is Saturday May 30 at Los Angeles. The next home game for Athletica is Saturday June 7 at 3:00 p.m. when they host Sky Blue FC at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri.  (New Jersey/New York). Tickets for Athletica games can be purchased by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL or on-line at www.saintlouisathletica.com.    

Week 1: Aya Miyama (Los Angeles Sol)
Week 2: Marta (Los Angeles Sol)
Week 3: Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers)
Week 4: Aly Wagner (Los Angeles Sol)
Week 5: Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
Week 6: Sonia Bompastor (Washington Freedom) ‘
Week 7: Lori Chalupny (Saint Louis Athletica)
Week 8: Christine Sinclair (FC Gold Pride)
Week 9: Jillian Loyden (Saint Louis Athletica)

Note: Weeks 1-2 selected by The Soccer Magazine; weeks 3-9 selected by North American Soccer Reporters panel.

Press Release Issued by Women's Professional Soccer & St. Louis Athletica
Photo Property of ISI Photos