Photo by Jeffrey Auger.
Kerr Recorded Hat Trick on Saturday to Lead Improbable 3-2 Comeback Win Over FC Kansas City
Sky Blue FC (7-6-1, 22 points) was notified today that forward Sam Kerr has been unanimously voted the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association for Week 12 of the 2017 season.
“On behalf of our entire club, we want to send out a huge congratulations to Sam,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “This recognition is a true representation of the mentality and culture that has been built around Sky Blue FC by these fantastic players. We are very excited about our comeback win last weekend and delighted that Sam was able to apply the finishing touches to some fun attacking play.”
The ultimate example of humility, Kerr was quick to place the credit for this latest achievement onto the shoulders of her teammates.
“It takes more than one player to win a game, and we had many other people who played well this weekend,” Kerr stated. “To come back from being down two-nil in the 78th minute really shows our team character. Everyone on our team played their part, including the subs as well as beyond the subs. Overall, it was a massive team effort. It is nice to feel the love from everyone, but the team deserves this more than me.”
This past Saturday night, Kerr recorded a hat trick in 12 minutes to lead Sky Blue FC all the way back from a 2-0 deficit in the 78th minute. The hat trick was just the second ever by a Sky Blue FC player (Nadia Nadim-2014) and the 11th overall in NWSL history. The three goals also eclipsed Jess McDonald to make Kerr the NWSL’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 35 overall.
Down 2-0 on Saturday, Kerr’s first score came in the 78th minute. On that play, Sarah Killion was playing on the right side of the back line, where she collected distribution before sending it up the flank for Kelley O’Hara. After quickly gathering the feed, O’Hara delivered a beautiful strike into the penalty area. A speeding Kerr then ran under the cross before redirecting an incredible diving header past Barnhart to put Sky Blue FC on the board. The goal was featured on the SportsCenter Top 10, the third consecutive match where a Kerr finish landed on the flagship program of ESPN.
In the 81st minute, Taylor Lytle had possession in the midfield before playing Daphne Corboz in front of her. Corboz then quickly hit Raquel Rodriguez with a one-two ball before sending a hard roller towards Kerr inside the 18-yard box. Showing no hesitation, Kerr immediately hammered a right-footed rocket that did not afford Barnhart any time to react, equalizing the contest at two apiece.
The final Kerr strike came in the 90th minute. Corboz first gathered from 25 yards out before sending a ball to Lytle, who one-timed it towards Kerr as she made a run into the penalty area. Kerr then rolled the feed with her right foot before slotting it past Barnhart, scoring her third goal in 12 minutes to lead Sky Blue FC all the way back from being down 2-0.
This award marks the fourth time that Kerr has been honored as the NWSL Player of the Week (second this season) and the eighth time that a Sky Blue FC player has won the award. She joins former Washington Spirit forward Crystal Dunn (6), FC Kansas City forward Sydney Leroux (4) and Seattle Reign FC forward Nahomi Kawasumi (4) as the only players to accomplish the feat on four occasions. Kerr has also been named the NWSL Player of the Month for both May and June this season, only the second player in league history to win Player of the Month accolades over consecutive months.
Kerr and Sky Blue FC will return home to Yurcak Field this Saturday, July 15, hosting the Chicago Red Stars for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Individual tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
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The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.