Sky Blue’s Kerr Gets NWSL Goal-Scoring Record

Boston, MA - Saturday September 30, 2017: Samantha Kerr during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between the Boston Breakers and Sky Blue FC at Jordan Field.

sky blue logoSky Blue’s season finale against the Boston Breakers had everything — an early deficit, a furious second-half rally, and a bit of history as Sam Kerr scored her 17th goal of the season to set a single-season record.

All three led to 4-3 come-from-behind win for Sky Blue on the final evening of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League regular season.  The win gave Sky Blue (10-11-3, 33 points) its most wins since 2013. Boston finished in ninth place.

Kerr only had one of the goals, while four others players scored and four players got an assist in the victory. Kelley O’Hara got the game-winner in the final minutes with a  tremendous run from the back and a first-time strike off a a cross from Leah Galton.

Kerr’s goal was the one everyone had been awaiting for the last three games. Her flick of the right foot put a shot past Boston’s Abby Smith in the 31st minute, making her the career single-season NWSL scorer with 17 goals, surpassing the former Seattle Reign midfielder Kim Little‘s 16 in in 2014. Kerr also has the most career goals in NWSL history with 43.

Defender Erica Skroski started the play by wheeling deep into Boston’s end. She had Maya Hayes on the left touchline and played the ball to feet. Hayes turned inside and served a perfect ball to the near post. Kerr got behind Boston defender Megan Ouster and flicked the ball with outside of her right foot into the net, past Smith who had no chance.

The goal cut Boston’s 2-0 lead in half.  The Breakers took the early led with a pair of Natasha Dowie headed goals. Boston controlled much of the second half but — as it has all season — Sky Blue was just warming up.

In the 76th minute, O’Hara served a ball from right wing that skipped past Kerr but fell to an unmarked Madison Tiernan. The Rutgers grad settled the ball, cut it back to create separation and slipped a hard low shot under Smith.

Two minutes later, Taylor Lytle passed a ball from the left flank –again past Kerr — to Skroski who was alone on the far post. The defender from Rutgers made sure with an accurate touch, scoring on her second shot of the season and Sky Blue had its first lead of the night. But it was short-lived.

Boston didn’t give up as Ifeoma Onumonu took a quick pass from Dowie and launched a high pass to the near post in the 85th minute. Casey tried to tip it over the top but it struck the bottom of the crossbar and came right back at Casey. She tipped it two more times but it fell behind her for an own goal.

But Sky Blue still wasn’t done. Galton, making her first appearance since July 22, made her presence felt almost immediately. The English midfielder drove down the left side in the 87h minute, got end line and rifled a low cross across the six-yard box. The ball skipped by five players from both teams until it found a charging O’Hara coming in fast from the back. O’Hara made no mistake in striking the game-winner.

With both Washington and Boston losing Saturday, the Spirit — NWSL finalists a year ago — will have the first draft pick in the 2018 draft.