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Event Spotlight:
Charge's Krik Orian Named WUSA Coach of the Year
Charge Head Coach Outdistances Carolina's Marcia McDermott and Washington's Jim Gabarra

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent

The Women's United Soccer Association named Philadelphia Charge head coach Mark Krikorian Coach of the Year Tuesday. Krikorian finished ahead of both Carolina's Marcia McDermott and Washington's Jim Gabarra in the poll, which was voted on by WUSA coaches, general managers, players, and select media representatives.

"This is a tremendous honor for me," said Krikorian, who is a first-time winner of the award. "I have to thank my players, who are a joy to coach, and assistant coaches, who also deserve a great deal of credit. "Marcia and Jim are fabulous coaches. Each of them could have won this award as well. Marcia led Carolina from worst to first and Jim's club is in the Founders Cup."

In his second year at the helm, Krikorian led the Charge to an 11-4-6 mark for 39 points. Philadelphia finished the season in second place, one point behind the Carolina Courage. The Charge was at least tied atop the league standings for 20 of the 22 weeks in the regular season.

Over his first two seasons, Krikorian has posted a 20-12-12 regular-season record and had guided the Charge into the postseason in each year. The only other team to qualify for the postseason in each of the first two WUSA season is the Atlanta Beat.

He joined the Charge from the University of Hartford, where he led the women's soccer team to three America East Conference titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances in five years. He compiled a 75-30-3 record at Hartford with three NSCAA top-15 final rankings and was named NSCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1997.

Prior to being named the first head coach of the Charge on Nov. 20, 2000, Krikorian compiled an impressive 168-49-6 coaching record over 11 seasons in the college ranks.

The league also gave out five other awards on Tuesday. Carolina's Kristin Luckenbill was named Goalkeeper of the Year, Washington's Abby Wambach won Rookie of the Year, San Jose's Sissi was awarded Humanitarian of the Year, Kari Seitz was voted Referee of the Year and Katia was awarded with the Goal of the Year.

Luckenbill, a native of Paoli, PA, was one of the main reasons for such a turnaround by the Courage. She posted a league-best 12 wins and had a 1.43 goals-against average (fifth) and a 66.7 winning percentage (second). She also led the league with 114 saves, 23 more than second-place finisher Saskia Webber of New York.

Philadelphia's Melissa Moore was also a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year, while Stacey Tullock (Rookie) and Jenny Benson (Humanitarian) were also finalists for Tuesday's awards.

On Wednesday, the league will be announcing Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year as well as Executive of the Year and the First and Second All-WUSA Teams. The Charge's Marinette Pichon (Offensive), Jen Tietjen (Defensive), Erica Iverson (Defensive) and Tim Murphy (Executive) are all finalists for Wednesday's awards. The Charge should also have a strong representation on the All-WUSA Teams. Thursday the WUSA will announce its MVP and Pichon is a finalist for that award as well.

Photo by Pedro Cancel

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