The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr had been named the Player of the Week for Week 17 of the 2017 season. Kerr was unanimously selected for the honor by the NWSL Media Association.
After her performance last Saturday night during Sky Blue’s 5-4 win over the Seattle Reign, it comes as no surprise that the Australian-international striker would be distinguished with the weekly honor. Kerr led a second-half rally, scoring four goals to help lift the New Jersey side past a three-goal deficit and into the lead with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Kerr’s fourth goal, scored deep in second-half stoppage time, marks the first time in NWSL history that a player has scored four goals in a single game. It also increased her goal total on the season to 15, three more than any other player in the league to put her back in the lead of this year’s Golden Boot race.
It also makes Kerr the first player in NWSL history to score multiple hat tricks in one season. In Week 12 she scored a hat trick in 12 minutes to bring the team back from a two-nil deficit and defeat the visiting FC Kansas City, 3-2. For that multi-goal, come-from-behind performance, she received Player of the Week honors as well.
In fact, Saturday night was the sixth consecutive time that Sky Blue has trailed by multiple goals at the start of games. Their record during that stretch is 2-3-1, with Kerr scoring result-changing goals in the 90th minute or later in the three non-losses. Those seven points have helped keep Sky Blue in the playoff hunt. They currently sit in sixth place, just three points shy of playoff contention.
Today’s announcement marks the third time Kerr has won the honor this season and the fifth time over the course of her career. Only one other player, USWNT and former Washington Spirit forward Crystal Dunn, has been honored with the title more times than Kerr (6). She has also received back-to-back Player of the Month honors (May-June) this season, as well as was included on the Team of the Month for three consecutive months (May-July) this season.
The award also comes less than a week after Kerr was announced as one of 10 nominees for Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017, the highest honor in world soccer. Kerr is the first Australian and the first Sky Blue player to be nominated for the award while playing for the team. Two-time reigning winner Carli Lloyd, once again nominated this year, played for Sky Blue in 2010 during its Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) days.
It was also announced on Tuesday that Kerr’s third goal of the match, struck in the 71st minute, was also voted the NWSL Goal of the Week.