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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 17, 2011) – Lauren Cheney came up big in Boston’s final regular season game, helping the Breakers clinch the fourth and final spot in the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) playoffs. Her performance has been honored with the Player of the Week title for Week 18.

Cheney scored twice in the first 18 minutes to lead the Breakers to a 2-0 must-have victory Sunday over Sky Blue FC to set up Wednesday night’s first-round showdown with magicJack. The winner will meet Philadelphia in Saturday’s Super Semifinal at PPL Park. Cheney scored her first goal of the match just 14 seconds after the opening whistle, setting a new WPS record for the fastest goal scored in league history.

Sky Blue would have taken the final playoff berth with a win or draw.

The former UCLA star from Indianapolis had scored just once in her second WPS campaign before Sunday, but she was a breakout star for the runner-up U.S. at the Women’s World Cup in Germany.

The Week 18 award is just the third for the Breakers this season. Rookie Meghan Klingenberg was honored in Week 9 and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in Week 10. The only other Boston player ever to win the weekly honor was Kelly Smith, who was rewarded once each in 2009 and 2010

The WPS Player of Week is selected by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters.

Week 1: Allie Long (Sky Blue FC)
Week 2: Alli Lipsher (Atlanta Beat)
Week 3: Alli Lipsher (Atlanta Beat)
Week 4: Christine Sinclair (Western New York Flash)
Week 5: Marta (Western New York Flash)
Week 6: McCall Zerboni (Western New York Flash)
Week 7: Caroline Seger (Western New York Flash)
Week 8: Abby Wambach (magicJack)
Week 9: Meghan Klingenberg (Boston Breakers)
Week 10: Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
Week 11: Veronica Boquete (Philadelphia Independence)
Week 12: Casey Nogueira (Sky Blue FC)
Week 13: Tasha Kai (Philadelphia Independence)
Week 14: Veronica Boquete (Philadelphia Independence)
Week 15: Christine Sinclair (Western New York Flash)
Week 16: Veronica Boquete (Philadelphia Independence)
Week 17: Abby Wambach (magicJack)
Week 18: Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers)


Week 18 – The One with the Four Teams

The WPS Regular Season drew to a close with 5 teams entering (and the Atlanta Beat too, I guess) and only 4 leaving.  In a must-win game, the Boston Breakers prevailed over the “close but no cigar” Sky Blue FC, a situation which seemed a distant hope until Lianne Sanderson’s shot heard ’round Boston in extra time of last week lifted Boston’s spirits.  With the playoffs about to kick off, the Breakers will be looking for a bit more Irish luck as they travel south for the First Round matchup against magicJack,with the winner getting the right to travel to face Philadelphia Independence this weekend.

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