Seattle Reign FC’s Lauren Barnes voted Defender of the Year
Barnes started all 20 games of the 2016 campaign as Reign FC tied for the most shutouts in the league
(Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/
(Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/

National Women’s Soccer League Press Release

CHICAGO (Oct. 5, 2016) – Seattle Reign FC defender Lauren Barnes was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Defender of the Year presented by Coppertone® from Bayer’s Consumer Health Division for the 2016 NWSL season, the league announced Wednesday.

Barnes, 27, is the first player other than FC Kansas City’s Becky Sauerbrunn to be honored as the NWSL’s top defender after the U.S. international won the award in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Barnes started all 20 games of the 2016 campaign as she played 1,775 minutes (all but 15 minutes) as Reign FC tied with the Chicago Red Stars for the most shutouts in the league with eight clean sheets.

The UCLA product was also a key figure as Seattle set new NWSL records with five consecutive shutouts and a 531-minute shutout streak. Barnes and Reign FC kept Portland Thorns FC, Houston Dash, Sky Blue FC, FC Kansas City and Boston Breakers off the scoreboard during that stretch.

The Arcadia, Calif. native helped Seattle tie the Washington Spirit for the No. 4 defense in the league in 2016 as the Reign allowed 21 goals in 20 games – just two more than the league-leading Thorns.

Barnes also played a pivotal role in coach Laura Harvey and her players having spent the fewest number of minutes (317 minutes) trailing in matches this season, eight less than their closest competitors – FC Kansas City (325).

List of NWSL Defender of the Year winners:

Year Player Club
2013 Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City
2014 Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City
2015 Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City
2016 Lauren Barnes Seattle Reign FC

The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on a consistent basis and fans.

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