Western United’s star goalkeeper Hillary Beall has become the first ever winner of the Club’s A-League Women Player of the Season award.
Announced at the WUFC Gala on Monday night, Beall claimed the award with just two votes more than striker and compatriot Hannah Keane, while Angie Beard finished in third place.
The award was voted was settled via a weekly voting panel which consisted of football department members submitting 3-2-1 votes after each match.
Beall’s debut season as a first-team regular in a professional side saw her become one of the best goalkeepers in the country.
Beall joined Western United on loan from Racing Louisville in the National Women’s Soccer League, gaining experience in the United States’ premier competition after five standout years at the University of the Michigan.
Her natural ability and professionalism was immediately apparent as she became United’s No.1 goalkeeper and assumed responsibility as one of the side’s inaugural vice-captains.
That role led Beall to wear the captain’s armband on many a matchday throughout the campaign, with her voice and direction frequently being heard from her end of the pitch.
Beall quickly proved her talent to the entire league, starring in a 1-0 opening day win against Melbourne Victory and saving a crucial penalty in Round 4 against Melbourne City, after which the Green and Black scored twice to claim one of its first statement wins.
Beall kept five clean sheets in total throughout the season and saved some of her best performances for the big matches including a 2-0 win over Sydney FC a second triumph against Melbourne City and a difficult contest against Brisbane Roar in Hobart.
After a dream first year in professional football, Beall will now look to use this success as a platform from which to launch her career further and continue to build her burgeoning reputation.