Western United completed a clean sweep of the Liberty A-League Women awards for January as Mark Torcaso won the Coach of the Month and Hillary Beall took out the Player of the Month award.
The pair was recognised for an outstanding month, one which saw Torcaso lead the side to five wins in six matches and continue its incredible start to the season.
Beall emerged as a standout player in that run, keeping four clean sheets across the six games and leading United from the back as she continued to wear the captain’s armband whenever Jaclyn Sawicki was out of the side.
Torcaso said it was a good feeling to win the Coach of the Month award for the third straight month, but reserved praise for his entire coaching staff for making it possible.
“It’s just a credit to the group, the players and the staff. Every one of our staff – Helen (Winterburn), George (Mcheileh), Sharna (Naidu), Tony (Belica) – every single person makes up any award that we receive. An accolade is great, but it’s been a team effort,” he said.
On Beall’s contribution, Torcaso said she was a deserving winner and highlighted her as one of the leading goalkeeper’s in the competition.
“Hillary definitely deserves that award. She’s been a leader but she’s been demanding of her own performances and our team,” he said.
“She’s definitely been, I think, the stand out goalkeeper of the league. Hopefully she gets herself a call up to the Under 23’s or the national team for the US at some point because she’s definitely going to be a top quality goalkeeper.”
United began the month with a thriller on New Year’s Day, twice coming from behind to defeat Perth Glory in a dramatic clash in hot conditions.
The Green and Black then defeated Wellington Phoenix 1-0 before arguably its most impressive win of the campaign, dispatching of fellow Premiership contender Sydney FC.
Despite a first loss of the season against Western Sydney Wanderers, United bounced back with two straight wins to close out the month, scoring seven unanswered goals to down Brisbane Roar and Canberra United.
Beall was particularly excellent in the wins over Brisbane and Sydney, making five saves in each of those games and imposing herself within the penalty area to ensure she kept a clean sheet in tight matches.
The American will be out to continue her form in goal for United while Torcaso will be eager to continue picking up results with five games remaining in the regular season.