NC Courage Highlights Inaugural Season Success With Announcement of 2017 Team Awards

Oct 7, 2017

Cary, NC (Oct. 6, 2017) - The NC Courage announced its end-of-season team awards today as voted on by the NC Courage players. The team awards include Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Leadership Award, Most Valuable Player, Golden Boot, which is given to the player with the most goals, and the Summit Hospitality Community Service Award.
2016 NWSL MVP Lynn Williams earned the team's Golden Boot Award after recording nine goals throughout the season to help propel the NC Courage to the 2017 NWSL Shield. Additionally, the forward recorded five assists in 21 games played.
Team captain Abby Erceg was voted Defender of the Year by her peers for shoring up a defense that conceded only 22 goals this season, and a record-breaking 12 shutouts. Focused on keeping the backline in check, Erceg won 68 percent of her tackles while conceding only 10 fouls over 22 games played.
Rookie Ashley Hatch earned the team’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. The NC Courage’s first ever draft selection (second overall), saw consistent growth in her game throughout the season, resulting in seven goals scored and one assist recorded. Her goal production ties the current NWSL record for most goals scored by a rookie in a single season. She was named to the June Team of the Month and was nominated for Goal of the Week twice that month as well. Hatch is also a finalist for NWSL Rookie of the Year.
The Leadership Award, given to the player who has shown consistent guidance on and off the field, went to midfielder McCall Zerboni. Zerboni has been a mainstay in Paul Riley’s lineup having appeared in all but one game this season. She has scored three goals and recorded one assist while winning 75 percent of her tackles. Zerboni is often seen organizing the midfield and directing her teammates throughout the game.
The NC Courage voted Sam Mewis as Most Valuable Player on the team. Mewis has dominated the center of the field for the first-place NC Courage with her competitive nature and leadership. In 24 games played, she has scored six goals and tallied three assists. She’s a consistent force in the middle of the field, winning 64 percent of her duels and 79 percent of her tackles. Mewis has been named to the Team of the Month four times, making the list of XI in April, June, August and September. She was also named Player of the Week in Week 16 after netting two goals against Seattle. Additionally, Mewis’ hard work has earned her a consistent spot on the US Women’s National Team. In 2017, she started all 12 USWNT games and recorded one goal plus one assist.
The Summit Hospitality Community Service Award went to two well deserving players who have distinguished themselves with important work in the community, Mewis and Zerboni.
Through her work with Soccer Without Borders, an organization whose mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing underserved youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success, Mewis continues to be a positive role model in the community. Starting in college at UCLA, she has organized clinics in every market she has played in, most recently here in the Triangle where she helped raise $500 for Soccer Without Borders while working with underserved youth. For more information on Soccer Without Borders, visit
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. Zerboni organized an auction surrounding the team's Breast Cancer Awareness match where her fellow teammates decorated bras to auction off for the cause. To date, MZ & Emmers has raised $60,000 for breast cancer charities. The auction for this year is ongoing, and fans can bid on items on MZ & Emmers Ebay page by clicking here.
The 2017 NWSL Shield winners are in the semi-finals and will host the Chicago Red Stars at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday, October 8, at 3:30 p.m. Less than 1,000 tickets remain for this momentous match and fans can help the NC Courage pack the park by visiting


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