Thorns FC goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc named NWSL Player of the Week

Penalty-kick save in the 84th minute helped preserve a 1-1 draw against Western New York

Karina LeBlanc #2, Thorns vs. Flash, 7.14.13

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc was named the National Women’s Soccer League Player of the Week by the media for Week 14 of the 2013 NWSL season, it was announced today.

LeBlanc, 33, made five saves – including stopping an 84th-minute penalty taken by forward Abby Wambach – in a 1-1 draw Sunday at JELD-WEN Field against the Western New York Flash.

It is the second time in four weeks the Canada Women’s National Team standout has been named the NWSL Player of the Week. LeBlanc, who ranks first in the league in goals-against average (0.85), second in saves (60) and third in shutouts (6), also earned the accolade for her performance in Week 11 in a scoreless draw against Sky Blue FC.

A native of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, LeBlanc’s save on Wambach’s penalty – which she guided off the left post – was her second consecutive penalty-kick save. She previously stopped Seattle Reign FC’s Christine Nairn late in the game during a 2-0 win over Seattle Reign FC on June 16 at JELD-WEN Field.

LeBlanc is the third player to be named the NWSL Player of the Week on multiple occasions. Wambach claimed the honor for her efforts with the Flash in Weeks 5 and 9, while Boston Breakers forward Sydney Leroux won the award following Weeks 4 and 13.

Portland Thorns FC will return to action Sunday, July 21 at 1 p.m. (Pacific) against the Boston Breakers at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis.