CHICAGO (Oct.28, 2020) — Midfielders Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico have both been named the winners of the 2020 Chicago Grit Award, as voted on by fans, after tying in the final results. DiBernardo and Colaprico were both nominated for the award alongside Zoey Goralski, Katie Johnson, Savannah McCaskill, Kayla Sharples, and Alyssa Naeher.
The Chicago Grit Award, formerly known as the Iron Woman of Character, is given to a member of the Red Stars who embodies what it means to play in Chicago – heart, hustle, instinct, and a desire to do anything asked of them in an effort towards team success. This year is the first time in the team’s history where two players have won the award jointly, with both DiBernardo and Colaprico each playing integral roles in the midfield throughout 2020 as part of the midfield.
DiBernardo, a Naperville native who was a member of the Red Stars during their 2011 WPSL season and the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft, captained the Red Stars for most of the 2020 campaign in both the Challenge Cup and Fall Series. She would finish the Challenge Cup starting in all six games she appeared in, totaling 528 minutes with a passing success rate of 74.3%. DiBernardo would also tally four clearances and six interceptions on defense. During the Fall Series, DiBernardo would start in all four games and add a goal and assist each to her 2020 stat line while maintaining a passing success rate of 74.8%.
Colaprico, drafted ninth overall by Chicago in the 2015 NWSL Draft, appeared in all of the Red Stars’ seven games during the Challenge Cup while starting in six of them. She would conclude the tournament with a pass success rate of 73.8%, six clearances, and 12 interceptions from the midfield, while also contributing in tackles with a success rate of 81.8%. Colaprico, like DiBernardo, would go on to start in all four of Chicago’s Fall Series games. She would finish with four clearances, 14 interceptions, and would pick up where she left off in Utah with her passing as she tallied a passing success rate of 86.6% to end her fall campaign.