CHICAGO (October 17, 2017) – North Carolina Courage forward Ashley Hatch was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Rookie of the Year for the 2017 NWSL season, the league announced Tuesday.
Hatch, 22, tied the NWSL rookie record with seven goals during her first year in the league. She also added one assist in 22 appearances (13 starts) and logged 1,200 minutes to help the Courage to a 16-7-1 record and the NWSL Shield, awarded for the best regular-season record.
The Gilbert, Ariz. native finished the year ranked second on her team in scoring – with her seven tallies also tied for eighth overall in the league. She scored three game-winning goals during the 2017 campaign – with the game-winners coming against the Boston Breakers (June 24), Seattle Reign FC (July 8) and Washington Spirit (Aug. 19).
The U.S. international earned a place on the NWSL Team of the Month for June when she scored in all three matches the Courage played that month. Included in that haul was the first goal of her professional career on June 3 against FC Kansas City.
The BYU product was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft in January. She is the second straight player taken with the second overall selection to earn the award. None of the five No. 1 overall picks in the NWSL College Draft have gone on to become Rookie of the Year through the first five seasons of the league’s existence.
List of NWSL Rookie of the Year winners:
|2013||Erika Tymrak||FC Kansas City|
|2014||Julie Johnston||Chicago Red Stars|
|2015||Danielle Colaprico||Chicago Red Stars|
|2016||Raquel Rodriguez||Sky Blue FC|
|2017||Ashley Hatch||North Carolina Courage|
The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on consistent basis and fans.