The USL W League announced its fifth and sixth regular season individual awards on Wednesday. NC Courage U23 standout 18-year-old Mia Oliaro has been voted Young Player of the Year, and Flint City AFC's head coach Michele Krzisnik has been awarded Coach of the Year after an incredible turnaround.
NC Courage U23’s Mia Oliaro had an incredible season for the final-bound club. The USYNT star was a driving force for the Courage offense this season, scoring five goals, tied for third-most goals scored on the team, and also led the team in assists with five. The incoming UNC Tarheel helped lead the Courage to an unbeaten regular season record (11-0-1) and a +39 goal differential, which clinched the top spot in the South Atlantic Division.
NC Courage U23’s hosted the Southern Conference playoffs, thwarting FC Miami City and Tampa Bay United each by a score of 3-0, earning themselves the Southern Conference Championship title. The Courage U23’s also hosted the USL W League Semifinal against Eastern Conference champions Eagle FC, defeating them by a score of 4-1, with Oliaro scoring the opening goal for the Courage, to advance to the USL W League Final this Saturday.
Flint City AFC’s head coach Michele Krzisnik has been named the 2023 USL W League Coach of the Year in her first season at the helm. Krzisnik led the Michigan-based side to an undefeated season and the club’s first-ever W League playoff berth. Michele was joined on the sideline by assistant coaches Doug Landefeld, Dennis Darnoi, and Shannon McCarthy.
Last season Flint found themselves in last place of the Great Lakes Division with a 2-9-1 overall record. This season, under Michele, Flint was the first team out of the entire league to clinch a playoff spot with an impressive regular season record of 9-0-3. Flint City also hosted the first round of playoffs.
Michele is a Michigan native and has been a part of the game at all levels in her home state – from learning the game, to playing collegiately, and to now leading a pre-professional team to the playoffs.