The accolades for Sam Kerr continue as she was unanimously selected as the NWSL Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association. The 23-year old Australian international and forward for Sky Blue FC scored a hat-trick in the final 12 minutes on Saturday to give her club the comeback victory against FC Kansas City after a 0-2 deficit. Not only did Kerr accomplish such a feat, helping Sky Blue FC remain as playoff contenders, but she also became the league's all-time leading scorer with 35 goals, and she scored her ninth goal of the season, which tied her for first.
Kerr has also won Player of the Week honors in Week 9 after her two goals against the Portland Thorns gave Sky Blue a road victory at Providence a Park. Additionally, Kerr has been voted as Player of the Month for two consecutive months this season for May and June.
The Hat-Trick: A Breakdown
On Saturday, on Sky Blue's 100th regular season game, Sky Blue FC went into halftime down 0-2 to FC Kansas City, and it appeared that even as KC was set to play with 10 players after Shea Groom was ejected at the end of the first half, that they would still manage to pull off the victory, especially after their solid first half performance. Sky Blue, however, returned to the second half not allowing the deficit to deter their hopes, and they had a variety of chances to get on the board, but FCKC's defense foiled every chance. Then came the 78th minute.
Kelley O'Hara came up on the right flank and sent a long cross into the FCKC box where Kerr was waiting. The pass required a one-touch shot, and Kerr's choice for the moment was a diving header that soared past Nicole Barnhart. The goal put Sky Blue FC within a goal to fully equalize. With the goal, Kerr's 33rd tied Jess McDonald for the most career goals in NWSL history.
Sky Blue continued pressing FCKC, and a Daphne Corboz pass in the 82nd minute to none other than Kerr, who scored the much-needed equalizer, tied the game at 2-2 with a one-touch shot. Kerr officially became the all-time leading scorer in the NWSL with her 34th goal.
The 90th minute approached and so did the possibility of a draw, but Taylor Lyttle, near the box, found Kerr on a run, and the Australian international was able to beat her defender Becky Sauerbrunn to finish it off for her second half hat-trick and the game winner for Sky Blue FC, which was only the second time an NWSL team came back to win a game after a 0-2 deficit.
Kerr's hat trick is the 11th in NWSL history.
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.