Photo by Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos.
Forward Sam Kerr Named Team Most Valuable Player After Record-Breaking Season
Tinton Falls, N.J. (Oct. 18, 2017) – Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced its 2017 Team Awards today, with forward Sam Kerr being named the team’s Most Valuable Player following her record-breaking 2017 campaign. Additionally, Kelley O’Hara received Defender of the Year honors, while midfielder Nikki Stanton was selected as the Sky Blue FC Unsung Hero.
During the 2017 NWSL campaign, Kerr became the league’s career goals leader (43), and the 2017 Golden Boot winner broke the single-season record by scoring 17 goals. The Australia international, who was named to the NWSL Best XI, also became the first player in league history to score two hat tricks in a season and four goals in a single match. 2017 marked the third consecutive campaign that Kerr led Sky Blue FC in goals, and her four assists this year were just one shy of the team-high. She closed out the season with five game-winning goals, tallying against eight of the nine other clubs in the NWSL.
Playing in her fifth season for Sky Blue FC, O’Hara was an instrumental factor for the team on both sides of the field. Having the pace to run the length of the pitch, the U.S. international was consistently in the attack while still having the ability to recover defensively. O’Hara made 17 starts over 18 games in 2017, registering four goals and three assists.
Stanton fully established herself as a key player for Sky Blue FC during the 2017 NWSL season, her fourth in New Jersey. On the year, she registered an assist on a career-high 13 starts over 16 appearances, but her contributions extended well beyond the numbers that are tracked on a stat sheet.
Two additional accolades that were acknowledged by Sky Blue FC today were Save(s) of the Year and Goal(s) of the Year. The Saves of the Year Award was given to Sky Blue FC netminder Kailen Sheridan for her 11-save performance against the North Carolina Courage on May 24 at WakeMed Soccer Park. The 11 saves by Sheridan were the most by a Sky Blue FC netminder since the NWSL was founded in 2013.
The Goals of the Year Award goes to an August 19 home contest against Seattle Reign FC at Yurcak FIeld. In that match, Kerr scored four times and Maya Hayes once in a five-goal second half, a game that Sky Blue FC improbably won 5-4 after trailing 3-0 at halftime.
- Sam Kerr – Most Valuable Player
- Kelley O’Hara – Defender of the Year
- Unsung Hero – Nikki Stanton
- Goal(s) of the Year
- Save(s) of the Year
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