by Jen Cooper
Keeper Notes editor
The 2019 NWSL regular season wraps up tonight with four games. All matches stream live on YahooSports.com and the Yahoo Sports app. In my preparations for NWSL game broadcasts, I spend a lot of time looking for noteworthy stats and milestones. Here are a few season-ending stats that I thought fans would appreciate – note this list is by no means comprehensive. If you have a stat to share, please put in the comments.
Tonight, Houston midfielder Christine Nairn (pictured above) will play her 150th regular-season game. She’ll be the first to reach that milestone, and this number means she has missed only 8 games over the course of her seven seasons. Nairn is one of just 26 field players who have played every season of NWSL.
In July Reign FC defender Lauren Barnes became the first NWSL player to pass the 12,000-minutes-played mark — in other words, more than 200 hours of soccer. Barnes also leads all players with 145 regular-season starts in her 148 games played.
ALL HAIL THE IRONWOMEN
Six players will finish the 2019 regular season as “ironwomen” if they play the full 90 this weekend — Nicole Barnhart (UTA), Amber Brooks (HOU), Jane Campbell (HOU), Jaelene Hinkle (NC), Sarah Killion (SKY), and Sam Staab (WAS). Staab will become just the second player in the history of the league to play her entire rookie season if she plays the full game for the Spirit, joining former Spirit defender and current Reign FC stalwart Megan Oyster in a very exclusive rookie club.
This season will be the third straight season for defender Amber Brooks to play every minute — no player has done that before, and so of course she holds the record for consecutive regular-season minutes played. Her streak currently stands at 6,393 minutes, dating back to the last game of the 2016 season when she came on as a late sub for Houston against Seattle.
THE CENTURY CLUB
As NWSL has lasted longer than any other previous women’s pro soccer league in the USA, more and more players are passing the 100-games-played mark each month. Here’s a complete list of the NWSL players who have played 100 or more NWSL regular-season matches before tonight. Be sure to check out the recent ProSoccerUSA.com article on players in the “century club.”
North Carolina striker Lynn Williams will join this club tonight, becoming the 37th NWSL player to play 100 regular season games.
FROM THE SPOT
Houston keeper Jane Campnbell faced more penalty kicks than any other goaltender this season, and set a league record for most PK saves in one season (4).
84' Another day, another Jane Campbell PK save 🚫
It's just what she does, folks#CHIvHOU | #DashOn pic.twitter.com/2CTGnjB8SQ
— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2019
CLUB RECORD HIGHLIGHTS
Sam Kerr broke her own single-season goal record (for both Chicago and league) by scoring 18 goals this season. In her two seasons with the Red Stars, she has tied Christen Press’ career club record for goals (35).
Yuki Nagasato leads the league with assists (8) this year, and with that total she has set a new club record for assists in one season. Nagasato recorded 7 last year to match Vanessa DiBernardo’s club record of 7 set in 2016.
Kealia Ohai became the first Dash player to play 100 games with the club in June. She and Bianca Henninger are the only two players who have been with the club every season since 2014.
Third-year goalkeeper Jane Campbell has earned six shutouts going into tonight’s game in Utah, surpassing the club single-season record of 4 set by Henninger in 2015.
The 3-time NWSL Shield winners have scored 51 goals so far this season. If they get two tonight versus Sky Blue, they’ll match their league and club record of 53 set last year … and of course 3 goals means they’ll set a new record.
Debinha has elevated her game this season, recording 7 goals and 6 assists in 18 games before tonight. Compare those numbers to her two previous Courage seasons combined – 12 goals, 4 assists in 45 games.
Ashlyn Harris became just the third keeper in league history to play 100 games this summer, joining Nicole Barnhart and Alyssa Naeher as the only keepers in the “century club.”
A goal for Portland tonight means they’ll set a new club record for goals in a single season (41). The Thorns scored 40 goals last year. And the next goal for Christine Sinclair will be her 50th NWSL regular-season goal. She is third all-time behind Sam Kerr (77) and Lynn Williams (50), but is the all-time leader for goals scored for one club.
A win for Mark Parsons tonight will be his 50th regular-season win at the helm of the Thorns. Only two other coaches have earned 50 wins with the same club – Laura Harvey (Seattle Reign, 2013-17) and Vlatko Andonovski (FC Kansas City, 2013-17).
There are just eight players who have played every season with the same club, and four of those players belong to Reign FC — Lauren Barnes, Jessica Fishlock, Megan Rapinoe and Kiersten Dallstream (retired midseason).
Seven players in the league have scored a goal in every season, and both Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long could join this group if they find the back of the net at Orlando tonight.
This season captain Sarah Killion became the first Sky Blue player to play 100 games for the club, and she’s on track to be the team’s first “ironwoman” since Christie Pearce Rampone in 2016.
Kailen Sheridan helped set a new league record for saves last year with 108 (tied with Washington’s Aubrey Bledsoe), and the pair have been neck-and-neck on the league saves chart all season. A shutout for Sheridan tonight means a new single-season personal best for clean sheets in one season.
Amy Rodriguez scored the first PK goal in the history of the club in May, and set a new club record for goals in a single-season (8 so far).
Nicole Barnhart has 10 shutouts on the season — one more and she’ll tie Adrianna Franch’s record of 11 clean sheets in one season, set in 2017.
Aubrey Bledsoe has played every game (and almost every minute) for the Spirit this year and has earned 8 shutouts so far, setting a new club record for single-season shutouts.
Defender Sam Staab leads all NWSL rookies in minutes played, and teammate Jordan DiBiasi is third on the list.
Ashley Hatch‘s 7 goals so far match her rookie season total in 2017, and this is the first season that she’s recorded mulltiple assists.