Sam Kerr scored a league-record 17 goals this past season for Sky Blue FC. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
TINTON FALLS– Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr was honored Monday as the winner of National Women’s Soccer League Golden Boot.
That honor is awarded to the player who scored the most goals during the NWSL regular season.
Kerr, 24, finished the season with 17 goals in 22 appearances to eclipse the previous record of 16 goals that was set by former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little in 2014. Her 17th goal came in Sky Blue FC’s season finale ay the Boston Breakers, a 4-3 comeback victory at Jordan Field Saturday night.
The Perth, Australia native etched her name into the NWSL history books on several different occasions this season.
It began with her overtaking of the career goals record. She claimed the top spot on the all-time list when she scored her 35th goal against FC Kansas City, a match where she registered a second-half hat-trick in only 12 minutes to lead Sky Blue FC to an improbable 3-2 comeback win at Yurcak Field July 8.
She finished the season with 43 goals as the career leader.
On Aug. 19, Kerr became the first player in NWSL history to register two hat-tricks in a season when she led Sky Blue FC to another come from behind victory, this time a 5-4 home win over Seattle Reign FC. She registered four goals in the second half, becoming the first player in NWSL history to score four goals in a match.
After finishing the season with 17 goals and four assists, Kerr became the first player in league history to reach 50 career points. She has 58 points on the strength of 43 goals and 15 assists.
Kerr finished the season with five game-winning goals. She tallied against eight of the nine other NWSL clubs, with the Washington Spirit being the only team to keep her off the score sheet.
She was particularly devastating in the second half of the season, recording 14 of her 17 goals after the halftime intermission. Sky Blue FC was victorious in all but two of the matches in which Kerr registered a goal.