Kate Howarth is the New England Mutiny’s all-time scorer. (Photo courtesy of the UWS)

METUCHEN, N.J. – Kate Howarth, the 2019 United Women’s Soccer player of the year, has signed a professional contract with Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Howarth, who played at the University of Miami from 2009-12). is the all-time leading scorer for the New England Mutiny (UWS).

This will be the second go-around in NWSL for Howarth as she was on the Boston Breakers. Howarth returned to the Mutiny in 2014 where she would be a fixture at forward for the next six years for the Massachusetts-based club. She tallied a club record 69 goals. Along with 17 career assists, Howarth also has a club-record 155 points.

“I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today if I had not been asked to play for the New England Mutiny,” Howarth said in a statement. “I would not have been given a chance with the Boston Breakers and would not have been able to develop as a player to get to this point. Joe [Ferrara, Mutiny team owner] has created a competitive environment that has drawn high level players across New England year after year.”

At age 29, a professional career for Howarth in the NWSL seemed a longshot, but the Michigan native amassed a stellar UWS campaign last season. She was invited to pre-season camp by five NWSL teams before settling in Orlando. Howarth finished the 2019 season with 20 goals and four assists.

“What made Kate’s season extraordinary was that she scored in every UWS regular season game and both playoff games,” said Ferrara, who also is UWS commissioner. “Whatever metrics an organization uses to evaluate a player they can toss those out the window when someone can produce like that against high quality competition. Kudos to Orlando for signing Kate as they will find her passion and work ethic contagious.”