A pair of Clemson alumni were dubbed as finalists for National Women’s Soccer League awards, announced by the league office on Thursday. Kailen Sheridan and Sam Staab were listed as finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively.
Sheridan’s play this season has made it an easy debate to name her as a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year. She tied one of this year’s candidates Aubrey Bledsoe last season with 108 saves and was one of the lone leader for saves this year with 86 including three shutouts. In addition to her performance, Sheridan ranks among the top five goaltenders across the NWSL for minutes played. She has routinely showcased her skills with huge saves and tactical awareness.
Staab, who donned the Orange and Regalia most recently, became an instant starter for the Washington Spirit after being taken fourth overall in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. In her first season, she became just the second rookie in NWSL history to play every second of her team’s season as she played all 90 minutes in all 24 Spirit matches in 2019. She quickly became one of the most consistent pieces of Washington’s attack while working her way in becoming one of the top performing defenders in the NWSL this season. Staab is a finalist for the rookie of the year award alongside her Spirit teammate Jordan DiBiasi.
After a preliminary round of voting by owners, general managers, coaches, players and media, the two former Tigers were named as top finalists for season awards. Fans have the chance to take part in the final round of voting for individual awards up until October 22nd. All 2019 NWSL award winners will be announced in the days leading up to and after the conclusion of the NWSL Championship game on October 27th which is being headlined in Cary, N.C.