There’s just no stopping Sam Kerr. After a record-breaking hat trick performance, Kerr has been unanimously selected as the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 12 by the NWSL Media Association.
Kerr scored three goals in the final 12 minutes on Saturday as Sky Blue FC erased a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at home over FC Kansas City. With Kerr’s first goal coming in the 78th minute, it is the latest started hat trick in NWSL history. Her final goal — the game-winner — came in the 90th minute to complete the comeback.
Kerr’s hat trick on Saturday night tied her for the league lead in goals with nine, and gave her 35 career goals, two ahead of Jessica McDonald for the most in league history.
“That. Was. Nuts. what a teaaaaaaam,” Kerr wrote on Twitter immediately following the game.
For her first goal — a brilliant diving header to put Sky Blue FC on the board — Kerr snuck in behind defender Becky Sauerbrunn to get on the end of a perfectly placed cross from defender Kelley O’Hara. The goal pulled Kerr into a tie with McDonald for the all-time lead with 33.
Just three minutes later, Kerr tied the game and became the all-time leading scorer with 34 goals. Daphne Corboz threaded a through pass to Kerr in between two FC Kansas City defenders. Kerr one-timed her shot past FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to tie the game 2-2.
Kerr completed the hat trick with the game-winning goal in the 90th minute, the 35th of her NWSL career. With Sauerbrunn marking her closely, Kerr took a pass from Taylor Lytle, shook away from her defender and cooly hit a right-footed shot to the lower left corner of the goal to make it 3-2.
“Sam is playing at a different level right now,” Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly told reporters after the game. “The most exciting thing about Sam is we truly believe there is still more to come from her. She is very young, and she is still very early in her development. These are the moments where she is proving to be one of the best players in the world. As her coach and as a fan, we could not be any prouder of her.”
Saturday night’s win for Sky Blue FC was only the second time in regular season history that a team recovered from a 2-0 deficit to win and the eighth time in league history that a team won after trailing with 15 minutes to go in the game. It’s the 11th hat trick in NWSL history and only the second time that all three goals have been scored in the second half.
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. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.