Tuesday, August 21, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO announced its Team of the Week for the final week of the 2012 season today, honoring Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble as Player of the Week after he recorded 12 saves in two matches, including a five-save shutout on the final day of the season, to help the City Islanders reach the USL PRO Playoffs.
Noble made seven saves as the City Islanders were able to hold on late to earn a draw in their opening game with the Los Angeles Blues on Friday night, which left Harrisburg needing a win in their second game in California to guarantee a place in the playoffs.
The former Chicago Fire goalkeeper, who finished the season with a goals-against average of 1.273 and eight shutouts, put in an outstanding display as the Blues outshot the City Islanders 14-3, making five saves that allowed Yann Ekra’s goal to send Harrisburg back to the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Noble’s Harrisburg teammate Lucky Mkosana was also named to the Team of the Week after recording a goal and the assist on Ekra’s finish that sealed the City Islanders’ place in the playoffs. He is joined in the Team of the Week forward line by Andrew Hoxie, whose late game-winner against Pittsburgh allowed the Rhinos to claim the No.2 seed in the USL PRO Playoffs, and Corey Hertzog, who had a goal and put in a strong overall performance to help Wilmington edge past the Charlotte Eagles 2-1 on Sunday night, booking the Hammerheads’ return to the postseason.
Charlotte’s Devon Grousis leads the trio of defenders, after his goal gave the Eagles a 1-0 win against Wilmington on Saturday night, and he is joined by Rochester’s George Kyriazis, who put in a strong performance as the Rhinos shut out the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Richmond’s Sascha Goerres completes the trio after providing the assist on David Bulow’s goal against Antigua on Friday night that clinched the Kickers’ berth in the USL PRO Playoffs.
Antigua would deny the Kickers the No.2 seed two days later, however, and both Quinton Griffith and Randolph Burton earn places on the Team of the Week for their brilliant strikes that ended the Barracudas’ season on a high note. They are joined in the midfield by Dayton’s Daniel Holowaty, whose late equalizer earned the Dutch Lions a point against Orlando City on Friday night, and Orlando’s Kevin Molino, who was a menace throughout the game down the right side for the Lions in the same contest.
The USL PRO Playoffs begin this Saturday as the No. 4 seed Richmond Kickers host the No. 5 seed Wilmington Hammerheads at City Stadium at 7 p.m. ET, while the No. 3 seed Charleston Battery host the No. 6 seed Harrisburg City Islanders at Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals.
Honorable Mention – Antigua: Ranja Christian, Keita DeCastro; Charleston: Kenneth Ellison; Charlotte: Chris Salvaggione, Darren Toby; Dayton: Matt Williams, Eli Garner; Harrisburg: Yann Ekra, Bilal Duckett; Los Angeles: Jose Miranda, Matt Fondy; Richmond: David Bulow, Luke Vercollone; Rochester: Troy Roberts, Tyler Rosenlund; Wilmington: Steven Perry, Hagop Chirishian