Breaking down the stats behind Kerr's incredible NWSL season

Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr has enjoyed another remarkable season in the United States by once again re-writing the National Women’s Soccer League history books.

The Chicago Red Stars striker ended the regular season over the weekend as the competition’s Golden Boot, becoming the first player in NWSL history to top the goal charts in back-to-back seasons.

Those prolific seasons in the USA sandwiched another golden boot,  as Kerr slammed in 13 goals for her hometown team, Perth Glory, to take top position in the Westfield W-League 2017-18 goal table.

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There’s still unfinished business this season for Kerr, who turned 25 yesterday, with the Red Stars to face runaway Premiers North Carolina Courage this weekend for a spot in the NWSL Grand Final.

Chicago will start heavy outsiders but with Kerr in their side, they have a great chance to pull off an upset.

We take a look at some of Kerr’s impressive stats in another memorable campaign for the Aussie superstar.

Dominating the competition

Despite missing the first month of the NWSL due to her involvement with the Westfield Matildas at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Kerr was soon making her mark.

Her 16 goals – one short of her record-breaking haul of last year - came in her last 17 appearances of the season after the Freemantle native missed the first month of games while at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

Incredibly, Kerr scored at least one goal against every team in the NWSL, underlining her ability to produce against any opposition.

Orlando Pride and former club Sky Blue FC were the teams to feel her full wrath, with the speedy striker scoring four times against both of those sides.

Kerr was twice voted the NWSL’s Player of the Week in Round 15 and 22, while she was the competition’s Player of the Month for August for her five goals in four matches as the Red Stars went unbeaten.

Sam Kerr celebrates one of her 16 goals in the NWSL this season. Pic courtesy of Red Stars website
Sam Kerr celebrates one of her 16 goals in the NWSL this season. Pic courtesy of Red Stars website

No stopping her attacking game

Kerr fired off 88 shots for the season – the second most of any player behind Lynn Williams (95) – with her 47 on target a league-high.

It meant her goal conversion rate was a brilliant 18%, while she scored a goal every 106.5 minutes on the pitch.

Of her 16 goals, 11 were scored with her right foot with the other five coming via headers, demonstrating her ability both with the ball at her feet as well as in the air.

Interestingly, all but one of her goals came inside the box, showing her goal-poaching talent and knack of being in the right place at the right time.

But it wasn’t just her goal return which made Kerr such a lethal weapon for the Red Stars in 2018.

The Westfield Matildas attacker also has four assists – which was tied for fifth in the NWSL – while she made 40 key passes at an average of more than two per match.

As well as her 16 goals, Kerr also had four assists for the season. Pic courtesy of Red Stars website
As well as her 16 goals, Kerr also had four assists for the season. Pic courtesy of Red Stars website

Rest of the stats that matter

While her goal-scoring and shooting is the strength of Kerr’s game, her other numbers stack up pretty strong as well.

Kerr made a total of 560 passes this season at a shade under 30 per match, with 373 of those finding there mark at an accuracy of 66.6%.

She also did her share of defensive work for the Red Stars, making 17 clearances and seven interceptions to ease some of the pressure on her team.

Despite not being one of the tallest players in the NWSL, Kerr’s work in the air was quite strong, winning 64.8% of aerial duels.