Kristen Hamilton has officially been voted the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 15 by the NWSL Media Association. Of course, today will forever be known as the day that we all learned that Jill Ellis was stepping down as the head coach of the USWNT, but when people talk about today in the future you can chime in with some super deep woso knowledge. Like, “yeah, I remember how Kristen Hamilton won her third Player of the Week Award that same day.”
Hamilton has been absolute fire for the North Carolina Courage over the last seven games, and she almost single-handedly earned three points for the Courage last weekend. Things started off poorly for North Carolina, with Utah Royals FC taking an early lead thanks to Christen Press. It looked like we might be in for another disconnected loss, but then Hamilton decided to match Press goal-for-goal. An extremely hard pass from midfielder Sam Mewis looked like it would be another missed opportunity for the Courage, but Hamilton got her shoulder on the ball, popped it up into the air, and then volleyed it past Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. It was a thing of beauty, and it shows just how much Hamilton’s confidence has grown this season. She spoke about that confidence on the phone with us a few weeks ago.
Hamilton also talked about how she wanted to help her teammates score more goals in that interview, and that’s exactly what she did in the second half. Jaelene Hinkle sent a long ball up the left side of the field to Hamilton, who rolled off her defender and blazed in towards goal. With Barnhart faced up against her and two defenders closing down on her in the box, Hamilton waited until the last second to pop the ball over to Jess McDonald who took one touch and scored the game-winning goal.
Hamilton has now scored 8 goals and registered 2 assists in the last seven games. She has won the Player of the Week award three times in those seven games. The first award came after she scored a hat trick against the Orlando Pride on June 1st. The second came after she scored a record-tying four goals in the match against the Houston Dash on July 5th.
I guess it’s going to be up to the new head coach of the USWNT to call her up later this year.