PORTLAND -- It was a special moment at Jeld-Wen Field on July 14 when Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc stopped international superstar Abby Wambach on a penalty kick in the 84th minute to preserve a 1-1 draw against the Western N.Y. Flash.
LeBlanc earned Player of the week honors in the National Women’s Soccer League for the second time in the last four weeks.
“Karina’s awesome,” said Thorns Head Coach Cindy Parlow Cone. “I mean, she has been huge for us all season long. I’m so happy she’s getting the recognition that she deserves, because she has come up huge. Great save on the PK in our last game. She has come up huge in other games as well.”
LeBlanc had five saves and the PK save was her second this season
More than 13,000 fans went wild at Jeld-Wen Field, which was the best part of it all for LeBlanc.
“The greatest point was the reaction from the fans and my teammates after the PK save,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to top that. When you’re a kid, some strikers dream of that big goal and their celebration. And keepers, you dream of that big save and the celebration.”
Karina was living out that dream once again, showing so much emotion and getting mobbed by her teammates.
“Usually, I’m pretty calm after a save,” she said. "But just the crowd and everything got the best of me.”
“It’s an incredible honor,” she said of the Player of the Week award. But she added, "This is a team sport, so it’s not like that was a goal of mine. Our goal is to win a championship here.”