Two-time defending National Women’s Soccer League champion FC Kansas City announced on Tuesday that goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart will return for a fourth season.
“Barnie has been one of the cornerstones of our team for the past three years, and we, of course, are thrilled to have her back for another season,” general manager Huw Williams said in a statement.
Barnhart has battled occasional injuries but has started 59 games across three seasons. She was named the 2013 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year and has led the league in shutouts three times.
In 2015, Barnhart started 17 of the Blues’ 20 regular season games and recorded 54 saves in that time. She led a defense that gave up just 16 goals in those 17 games for a .941 goals against average and recorded eight of the team’s nine saves. She finished the regular season ranked first in goalkeeping wins (8), second for minutes (1,530) and fifth for saves (54).
The team has officially re-signed five players for the 2016 season, including Barnhart. Midfielder Frances Silva, Erika Tymrak, Jen Buczkowski and Mandy Laddish committed last week.