Sam Kerr returned to New Jersey on Saturday to face her former Sky Blue FC teammates, and the Australian International does what she does best…score goals.
Now with the Chicago Red Stars, Kerr notched a hat-trick as the visitors from the Windy City defeated the still winless Sky Blue 3-1 at Yurcak Field.
But it was ultimately a bittersweet night for the NWSL star, who became the first player in league history to notch three hat-tricks while scoring her 51st career NWSL goal, the most in league history.
Kerr’s three goals also further exacerbated the struggles of Sky Blue this season, which with the loss fell to 0-11-3 (W-L-D).
But while Kerr was pleased with her efforts on the night vs. Sky Blue, her thoughts were also with her former teammates.
On Twitter, Dan Lauletta, managing editor of The Equalizer, tweeted that Kerr felt scoring her 50th career NWSL goal in New Jersey was “pretty cool” and credited her teammates over the years for her success.
But her thoughts were also with Sky Blue.
In a series of tweets, Lauletta reported that Kerr said:
“If I’m honest I didn’t enjoy it. I wish things were better here and that I could stay. I scored a hat trick, but I wasn’t myself today. I feel sad. I feel sick playing against these girls. They’re my lifelong friends. It just sucks that that’s the way it had to be. I’m just going to say the girls deserve better and I’m just going to leave it at that. These girls are great girls. They give everything of themselves for this club and this league and they just deserve better. I wish I could take every single one of them with me but that’s not the way it is. I felt like I was going to cry at some points in the game.”
Following the 2017 season in which Kerr was named NWSL MVP, she was a key piece in a January trade between Chicago and Sky Blue. The New Jersey-based club received Carly Lloyd, Canadian international Janine Beckie, Princeton University graduate Jen Hoy and the sixth and 13th overall picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft.