The NWSL in September was full of fast and furious competition, leading the Shield and playoff race to tighten with every passing week. After August favored defensive players, attackers had a very strong September, and their teams crowded the top of the NWSL table.
Here are our picks for the most outstanding players of the regular season in September, with one player leading the way.
Kerolin, F, North Carolina Courage
Kerolin had another exceptional month in the NWSL regular season, scoring two goals and notching two assists in September to keep North Carolina firmly in the league’s competitive playoff race. One of those goals came on Oct. 1, but with that slate of games technically closing out the final match week of September, we’re giving it the nod here.
The Brazilian forward’s most comprehensive performance of the month came on Sept. 2, when she scored one goal and registered two assists in a wild 3-3 draw against Shield contender Gotham FC. Kerolin ranks in the top four of both American Soccer Analysis’ goals added category and xG metrics for the month, keeping the Courage alive as they have otherwise struggled to turn chance creation into goals. She now sits on 10 goals, just one behind league leader Sophia Smith, who returned to training with the Thorns last week after suffering a mild MCL sprain in August.
Kerolin also had a goal in the Courage’s Challenge Cup final victory. While that does not technically count toward the regular season awards, it just serves as more evidence of how in-form the 23-year-old has been since she returned from the World Cup.
Jaedyn Shaw, M/F, San Diego Wave
Jaedyn Shaw continued to step into a larger role in the San Diego attack in September, scoring one goal and recording one assist as the Wave became the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Shaw has the ability to thread the ball into the box from an attacking midfield position, and she is also very comfortable running to the endline to send low crosses in for her teammates to capitalize on in front of net.
Jaedyn Shaw puts it on a platter for Kyra Carusa. 🌊Stream the game for FREE on CBS Sports Golazo Network available on the @CBSSports App and @PlutoTV. 📲 pic.twitter.com/QYZBAHdAiO— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) October 1, 2023
Jaedyn Shaw puts it on a platter for Kyra Carusa. 🌊Stream the game for FREE on CBS Sports Golazo Network available on the @CBSSports App and @PlutoTV. 📲 pic.twitter.com/QYZBAHdAiO
Alex Morgan, F, San Diego Wave
Alex Morgan ended her goal drought of almost four months in the Wave’s final match of September, sealing a huge win over Portland that lifted them to the top of the NWSL table and a playoff spot. The goal is a great sign that Morgan can overcome whatever mental block was ailing her in recent months. Her resurgence would be a boon for the Wave in the postseason after Morgan was excellent in all other attacking facets this month, including ASA’s goals added and xG metrics.
🚨ALEX MORGAN GOAL🚨@alexmorgan13 doubles San Diego's lead!! pic.twitter.com/GGAUaNnISa— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 1, 2023
🚨ALEX MORGAN GOAL🚨@alexmorgan13 doubles San Diego's lead!! pic.twitter.com/GGAUaNnISa
Bianca St-Georges, D/M, Chicago Red Stars
Despite a tough climb into playoff contention, the Red Stars went undefeated in September, not least because of the confident play of Bianca St-Georges. St-Georges has become one of Chicago’s best attacking outlets on the right wing, as the team continues to compensate for the loss of injured star forward Mallory Swanson. The 26-year-old can cover a lot of ground in defensive transition and send the ball into the goal from tight wide spaces, and her two goals in September have kept Chicago alive.
The @chicagoredstars are in front! 💥@biancastgeorges with a powerful finish at the near post... and after VAR review, the goal stands! pic.twitter.com/qgSwLsQB0D— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 1, 2023
The @chicagoredstars are in front! 💥@biancastgeorges with a powerful finish at the near post... and after VAR review, the goal stands! pic.twitter.com/qgSwLsQB0D
Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @ScoutRipley.