Congratulations to Chicago Red Stars defender Jackie Santacaterina on being voted NWSL Fans’ Choice MVP for Week 18 for her performance against Sky Blue FC.
“Jackie has dedicated herself to this team tirelessly all season, so it’s fitting that she receives this recognition towards the end of the season,” said Red Stars general manager Alyse LaHue. “No matter what position was asked of her, or whomever she came in to cover, she has performed above and beyond.”
Santacaterina helped the Red Stars get on the board just eight minutes into the match by finding teammate Maribel Dominguez who rocketed a shot past Sky Blue FC keeper Jillian Loyden to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Sky Blue FC answered with two goals before half and the Red Stars started the second half down 2-1.
In the 77th minute Santacaterina tied the match with a well placed header off a corner kick for her first goal of the match and second of the season.
Once against Sky Blue FC came back, this time with Monica Ocampo scoring her second goal of the match in the 89th minute in what the webcam announcers called a “crushing blow” to the Red Stars.
But as many NWSL teams and Red Stars fans have found out this season, don’t count Chicago out of any match, no matter how much time is left on the clock.
In the 90th minute, fellow Red Stars defender sent a ball into the box that found a leaping Santacaterina who headed the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the match, but more importantly, earning her team a draw against playoff bound Sky Blue FC.
When it was all said and done, Santacaterina became the first defender in NWSL history to score two goals and record an assist in a single match and NWSL fans rewarded her accomplishment by voting her this week’s NWSL Fans’ Choice MVP.
“Jackie epitomizes what our team is all about,” said Red Stars head coach Rory Dames. “It is great to see her hard work recognized by the fans.”
1) Jackie Santacaterina (CHI)
2) Diana Matheson (WAS)
3) Karina LeBlanc (POR)
4) Adrianna Franch (WNY)