Ashlyn Harris was outstanding between the sticks for the Orlando Pride this season, turning in arguably a team MVP-type season. Harris’ standout play was recognized today as she was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year, becoming the first player from an NWSL expansion team to win a league award.
Harris joins elite company by becoming the fourth different player to win the award. She joins previous winners Nicole Barnhart (2013), USWNT teammate Alyssa Naeher (2014), and Michelle Betos (2015).
The 30-year-old native of Satellite Beach, FL, was a nine-time winner of the NWSL Save of the Week Award in 2016, a season in which she made 62 saves – good for a second-place tie in the league. Playing behind a plethora of different back line combinations, Harris finished the season with a 1.33 goals-against average – tying her career best, set in 2015 – in 15 matches this year, keeping four clean sheets (two fewer than the league leaders) and posting a 5-9-1 record. Harris faced 161 shots this season, with 82 on target (third most in the league, behind Barnhart and Houston’s Lydia Williams), finishing with a save percentage of 76% in 1,350 minutes.
A product of the University of North Carolina, where she appeared in 77 career college matches, Harris was acquired by the Pride with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft on Oct. 20. Orlando selected Harris from the Washington Spirit after she was left unprotected, allowing her to return to her home state of Florida.
Harris has nine international caps with the USWNT, after spending time in the United States youth program, including 39 caps with the U.S. U-19 team from 2000-2004. She appeared in the FIFA U-19 World Cup in 2002 and 2004. Harris played with the Washington Spirit from 2013-2015, appearing in 46 NWSL matches in that span. She previously played with the Western New York Flash in WPS.