Rookie of the Year: Ashley Hatch, North Carolina Courage

Hatch scored seven goals and added an assist in 2017

North Carolina Courage forward Ashley Hatch scored seven goals in her rookie NWSL season. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

After scoring seven goals in her first professional season, North Carolina Courage forward Ashley Hatch has been voted Rookie of the Year. The award was voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on consistent basis and fans.

Hatch was selected by the Courage as the No. 2 overall pick in the NWSL College Draft out of BYU.

The rookie finished the regular season with seven goals and one assist in 1,200 minutes. Of her 22 appearances, 13 were starts for the Courage.

Hatch scored her first professional goal in her first start on June 3. Starting in place of an injured Jessica McDonald, Hatch scored off an assist from Lynn Williams in the 67th minute against FC Kansas City. She scored in all three games for the Courage in June and was named to the NWSL Team of the Month.

 

Three of Hatch’s seven goals were game-winning goals, including the only one scored on June 24 in Boston, one of North Carolina’s record seven 1-0 wins in 2017. Her other two came at home vs. Seattle Reign FC and the Washington Spirit. Four of her goals came in Cary, N.C., and three on the road.

On September 24, Hatch recorded the first assist of her career and added a goal of her own as the Courage clinched the NWSL Shield with a 4-0 win over the Houston Dash. The win was North Carolina’s record-tying 16th win of the season.

She finished second on the team in scoring behind only Williams’ nine goals.