Cary, NC (September 20, 2018) - The North Carolina Courage announced team end of season awards today as voted on by their teammates. Awards were given in several categories including offensive and defensive player, leadership, MVP and community service, as well as the Golden Boot, awarded to the player with the most goals at the end of the regular season.
Lynn Williams earned the Team Golden Boot Award for the second consecutive year recording 14 goals throughout the season to help propel the NC Courage to a regular season title and the 2018 NWSL Shield. Additionally, the forward was voted team Offensive Player of the Year recording five assists in 21 games played and was instrumental in helping the NC Courage capture the inaugural Women’s Champions Cup.
Team captain Abby Erceg was voted Defender of the Year by her peers for shoring up a defense that conceded only 17 goals this season, a NWSL record, on their way to a record-breaking 17 wins. Erceg was also voted the recipient of the Leadership Award, given to the player who has shown consistent guidance on and off the field, as her skills were focused on keeping the backline in check. Erceg won 75 percent of her tackles while conceding only eight fouls over 24 games played in the regular season. The New Zealand international also recorded two goals and two assists in 2018.
The NC Courage voted Denise O’Sullivan as Most Valuable Player on the team. The Cork, Ireland native’s unassuming contribution on the field helped propel the team all the way into the 2018 NWSL Championship for the second consecutive year. While she didn’t record any goals this season, she was very active on both sides of the field, winning 67 percent of her tackles and earning a 78.4 passing success rate. A mainstay in head coach Paul Riley’s box midfield, O’Sullivan recorded three assists and was instrumental in the success of every game she appeared in.
The Summit Hospitality Community Service Award went to two well deserving players who have distinguished themselves with important work in the community and off the field, Sabrina D’Angelo and McCall Zerboni.
Since moving to North Carolina in 2017, D’Angelo has always been at the forefront of community appearances, visiting schools, coaching in clinics and establishing herself as a fan favorite on and off the field. The Welland, Ontario native quickly became a positive role model for young fans in the Triangle with her encouraging can-do attitude.
In 2011 Zerboni started a non-profit foundation called MZ & Emmers Sports Bra Auction for Breast Cancer Awareness, where she auctions off sports bras decorated and autographed by athletes to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. To date they have raised over $60,000 for breast cancer charities. This season, the organization auctioned of autographed pre-game warmup jerseys through the charity’s eBay page.
The 2018 NWSL Shield winners face Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, September 22, at 4:30 p.m. ET, in the 2018 NWSL Championship, a rematch of last year’s final. The match will be played at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., and broadcast live on Lifetime.