Sam Kerr wasted little time in returning to action for the Chicago Red Stars after a run with Australia at the Women's World Cup. And she wasted even less time in reaffirming her place as the preeminent goalscorer in the league.
Kerr netted a hat trick in Chicago's 3-2 win over the Orlando Pride on Sunday, scoring in three different manners. She pounced on a sloppy turnover in the back and finished from a left-sided angle in the seventh minute, before getting in behind, taking a touch off her chest and then finishing with the outside of her boot to restore Chicago's edge just before halftime, after Chioma Ubogagu had equalized.
Her best finish put the match out of reach, with Kerr gliding toward the top of the area and lacing a low blast from 18 yards by goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.
That last goal wound up being the game-winner, with Marta, also returning to NWSL action immediately after Women's World Cup elimination, scoring from the penalty spot.
Kerr scored five goals at the Women's World Cup–four coming in a win over Jamaica–and remains tied atop the Golden Boot standings as the tournament continues in France. She exited the big stage in disappointing fashion, missing her spot kick as Australia was eliminated by Norway in penalty kicks in the round of 16. It would appear she's put that behind her, as she extended her league lead with her seventh, eighth and ninth goals of the season.