With the 2017 NWSL season now in the rearview mirror, Sky Blue FC has announced its team awards that includes Sam Kerr named its Most Valuable Player.
During the season Kerr became the NWSL leader in 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.
The recently completed season also 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.
Kelley O’Hara was named the team’s Defender of the Year. Playing in her fifth season for Sky Blue, she 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.
This season’s Unsung Hero award went to Nikki Stanton, who established herself as a key player in her fourth season with Sky Blue FC. 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.