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Independence coach, players garner awards

Paul Riley took an unexpected Gatorade bath Wednesday when the Independence learned that he had been named the coach of the year in Women's Professional Soccer.

Paul Riley took an unexpected Gatorade bath Wednesday when the Independence learned that he had been named the coach of the year in Women's Professional Soccer.

"That's always a good feeling," Riley said after the shower.

He should know. He won the same award last season, his team's first in the infant league.

Independence forward Veronica "Vero" Boquete and defender Nikki Krzysik also won awards.

Players, coaches, fans, and media members voted for Riley, as well as Boquete as player of the year.

League coaches and players voted Krzysik the sportswoman of the year.

The affable Riley is known to get the most out of his players because of his knowledge and love of soccer. And he's excited about his team's chances against magicJack, a 3-1 winner over Boston on Wednesday. The winner of Saturday's 4 p.m. game at PPL Park in Chester will face the Western New York Flash for the league championship on Aug. 27.

Saturday's game will not be televised live but will shown on tape delay at 11 p.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNet.

"We have a terrific group of talented, gifted, and committed soccer players . . . and Paul knows how to get the most out of every one of them," David Halstead, Independence owner and CEO, said in a statement.

In 11 games, Boquete has five goals and four assists. She also had three game-winning goals in a row. Krzysik's leadership as team captain and off the field working with those less fortunate made her a natural for her award.

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