Sky Blue FC Forward Samantha Kerr Honored as Winner of 2017 NWSL Golden Boot
The Golden Boot is awarded to the player with the most goals during the regular season.
Samantha Kerr, 24, finished the season for Sky Blue FC with 17 goals in 22 appearances as she set a new NWSL single-season scoring record – eclipsing the previous record of 16 goals set by former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little in 2014.
Kerr set the record Sept. 30 in the final game of the year as she scored in the 34th minute against the Boston Breakers at Jordan Field to help rally Sky Blue FC for a 4-3 victory over the Breakers.
The Australian national did not score her first goal until May 13 against the Houston Dash – the fifth game of the year for Sky Blue FC – and had just two goals on the season as of June 3. But a flurry of 14 goals over the final 15 games of the year saw Kerr write her name into to the record books on several fronts.
First, she became the league’s all-time leading scorer July 8 with the 35th goal of her NWSL career as she completed a hat trick with her third goal of the game against FC Kansas City – moving past North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald on the all-time scoring list.
Next she became the first player in NWSL history to reach 40 goals on Aug. 19 when she also became the first player to score four goals in a single game to help lead Sky Blue FC to a 5-4 victory over the Reign. The match was the first time a team had rallied from three goals down to win a game – and marked the first time a player netted two hat tricks in the same season.
Also in 2017, Kerr became the first player to reach 50 career points in NWSL history as she surpassed Little to claim the top spot in that category. She finished the year with 58 career points – with 21 of those points (17 goals, 4 assists) coming in 2017.
The 17 goals for Kerr account for more than 40 percent of her team’s goals this year as Sky Blue FC finished with 42 goals in 24 games – with their 1.75 goals per game this season tied for sixth best in NWSL history.
Kerr scored five game-winning goals during the 2017 campaign. She scored against eight of the other nine teams in the league, with her five goals against Seattle are the most against a single opponent. The Washington Spirit was the only team against which she did not find the back of the net.
Kerr was especially devastating in the second half of games this year – scoring 14 of her 17 tallies after halftime, including nine goals in the last 15 minutes of matches.
Photo Credit: Sky Blue FC