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Event Spotlight:
Smith Earns Player of the Week Honors
Captain's Goal, Assist Leads Charge to top of WUSA Standings

Monday, May 13, 2002

By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent

Philadelphia Charge midfielder Kelly Smith was named the Women's United Soccer Association Player of the Week for her efforts in the Charge's 3-1 win over the Washington Freedom on Saturday, May 11.

Smith, who had a goal and an assist against Washington, garnered 15 first-place and two second-place votes for 32 points to lead all nominees for the honor. Teammate Erin Martin finished second in the voting with three first-place votes and nine runner-up tallies for 15 points. Martin had two goals in Philadelphia's win.

Smith leads the Charge with three goals and two assists for eight points this season. She sits only one point behind Boston's Maren Meinert for the WUSA lead in points. Smith, an English National Team member, currently has the longest point-scoring streak in WUSA history, having posted at least one point in seven straight regular-season contests (4g, 4a). Including the postseason, Smith has an eight-game point scoring streak (5g, 4a).

"Kelly's a multifaceted player who realizes now that the sky's the limit," said Philadelphia Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "She can be as good a player as she wants to be."

Smith garnered the first-ever WUSA Player of the Week award at the beginning of the league's inaugural 2001 campaign for her part in the Charge's 2-0 win over the San Diego Spirit in the franchise's first game. She scored once and drew a penalty kick on the other, leading to Doris Fitschen's goal. Fellow midfielder Liu Ailing (three times) is the only other Philadelphia player to have ever received the award.

Smith's goal this past Saturday came in the 88th minute to run Philadelphia's lead to 3-0, when she turned a defender inside-out and let a heavy left-foot shot go from 18 yards out. The goal was her third of the year. The 23-year-old Smith was fourth on the Charge in scoring last season with four goals and three assists for 11 points.

Philadelphia next takes to the turf on Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m. when they take on the Spirit in San Diego where the team will look to extend its perfect record to 5-0.

Player of the Week voting

1. Kelly Smith 15-2=32
2. Erin Martin 3-9=15
3. Jaime Pagliarulo 0-8=8
4. Maren Meinert 1-0=2

Photo by Pedro Cancel

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