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Philadelphia's Tasha Kai Wins Weekly Honor with Hat Trick and More

July 15, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) News Release

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 15, 2011) - Flamboyant forward Tasha Kai scored a hat trick to beat Sky Blue FC, then scored a goal and created another as the Philadelphia Independence topped the Western New York Flash to surge ahead in the Women's Professional Soccer standings last week. Her performance has been honored with WPS's Player of the Week title.

Kai, with her mother and brother on hand to see her in a professional league game for the first time, scored in the 3rd, 38th and 58th minutes as the Independence (7-2-3) pulled out a wild 4-3 triumph Wednesday over New Jersey's Sky Blue FC. She scored again in the eighth minute of Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Flash, and Sinead Farrelly netted the decisive goal on a rebound after Kai hit the post in first-half stoppage.

Kai's hat trick was the third in WPS and was the first player in WPS history to score four goals in one week. Brazilian forward Cristiane had one for Chicago in 2009, and magicJack's Abby Wambach scored three in a victory over Atlanta on May 28.

Kai, who leads WPS with eight goals this season, was Player of the Week once before, when she played for Sky Blue in 2009. She's the second Philadelphia player to win this season -- Veronica Boquete was honored two weeks ago.

Kai is one of the most successful female soccer players to hail from her home state of Hawaii. In her four years at the University of Hawaii, the Rainbow Wahine was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the year three-times over. Kai was a fixture of the US Women's National Team from 2006-2009, and made her mark in the 2007 Women's World Cup and earned an Olympic Gold Medal at the Beijing games in 2008. The Kahuku, HI native has been a part of WPS since its inception in 2009, helping Sky Blue FC capture the inaugural season championship before signing on with her current club, Philadelphia Independence as a free agent in December of 2010.

The Independence has a four-point lead on Western New York (6-2-2), which has played two fewer games.

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 Breaker)

Week 11: Veronica Boquete

Week 12: Casey Nogueira (Sky Blue FC)

Week 13: Tasha Kai (Philadelphia Independence)

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