Last week, we took a look at the all-time NWSL leaderboard. This week, let’s take a closer look at single season records and some of the statistical highlights of 2017.Courage clinch
The Courage became the first in the NWSL to clinch a playoff spot, defeating the Spirit 3-2 on Wednesday night. It was also their 14th win of the season, making North Carolina just the second team in NWSL history to win 14 games in one season. The first — Seattle Reign FC in 2014 on their way to a record 16 wins in one season.
The Courage have five games to try to break or tie the record. Seattle’s 2014 record was set in a 24-game season, like 2017.
The win on Wednesday night was a rare non-shutout win for the Courage — 10 of their 14 wins have come without allowing a goal. It was also the first time the Courage won while allowing more than one goal, and when conceding the first goal of the game.
The record for team shutouts in a season is 11, set by FC Kansas City in 2013.
Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has seven shutouts this season, three shy of the record of 10 set by Nicole Barnhart in 2013. Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is one ahead of Rowland on the shutout lead this season with eight.
In fact, every major single season record is in threat this season. Team wins: 16
Set in 2014 by Seattle Reign FC
2017: North Carolina Courage have 14
Team shutouts: 11
Set in 2013 by FC Kansas City
2017: North Carolina Courage have 10
Goalkeeper shutouts: 10
Set in 2013 by Nicole Barnhart
Adrianna Franch has 8
Katelyn Rowland has 7
2017: Sam Kerr, Sky Blue FC
Set in 2016 by Tobin Heath
2017: Nahomi Kawasumi has 8
Overall scorer points: 23
Set in 2014 by Kim Little
Sam Kerr has 19
Marta has 17
Before this season, a team had only come back from being behind a goal in the 75th minute or later to win a game six times. This season, it’s happened four times, all in the last two months:
June 28: Orlando 3 Sky Blue FC 2 — Yurcak Field
July 8: Sky Blue FC 3 FC Kansas City 2 — Yurcak Field
Sky Blue scored in the 78th, 81st, 90th (Sam Kerr hat trick) to win after being down 2-0.
August 16: Seattle Reign FC 2 Chicago Red Stars 1 — Toyota Park
Second time in NWSL history a team scored twice in the 90th minute or later in a comeback win.
August 19: Sky Blue FC 5 Seattle Reign FC 4 — Yurcak Field
Seattle up 3-0 at halftime minute.
Sky Blue tied it 3-3 in the 71st minute.
Seattle made it 4-3 in the 85th minute.
First time in NWSL history a team scored twice after the 90th minute in a comeback win.
Sky Blue’s 5-4 win over Seattle was also the first time in NWSL history that a player — Sam Kerr — scored four goals in one game, which leads us to:
Before this season, only five times in NWSL history had a player directly contributed to four or more goals in one game. This season, it’s already happened three times, in three different ways.
May 13: Seattle Reign FC vs. Washington Spirit
Nahomi Kawasumi, Reign FC
1 goal, 4 assists in 6-2 win.
June 17: Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride
2 goals, 2 assists in 4-2 win.
August 19: Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign FC
Sam Kerr, Sky Blue
4 goals in 5-4 comeback win.
Ties are (not) cool
Last year, it took the Pride until the 18th game of the season to earn their first draw. This season, the Courage have played 19 without a tie.
Jess McDonald scored her 34th and 35th career regular season goals on Wednesday night in the Courage’s 3-2 win over the Spirit, moving her past Red Stars forward Christen Press and into second place all-time. She trails only Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr (42 goals) for most in league history.
Press was briefly second all-time in goals after scoring No. 34 on Saturday. The goal was also her 10th of the season. She joins Kim Little (2014 and 2015) and McDonald (2014 and 2016) as the only players to score 10 or more goals in a season twice. Press scored 10 goals in 11 games in 2015.
In Week 18, the Thorns became the first team in NWSL history to win 50 games — and to the delight of Portland fans it came on the road in Seattle, 2-1 over their arch rivals. It was the first win in Seattle since 2013. Both wins featured Thorns braces — Hayley Raso (2017) and Christine Sinclair (2013).