Katie Stengel is another one of the players that Utah selected out of the Dispersal Draft following the Boston Breakers folding. Stengel had had a bit of a rough 2017. She started the season playing for the Washington Spirit but was released just to be picked up by the Breakers days later. She would play 12 games for them but was not able to score any goals. Then, in the NWSL off-season, Stengel would go to play in the Australian W-League for the Newcastle Jets, where she would regain her goal scoring ways. She scored 10 goals in her season with them, and finished second place in the W-League Golden Boot race, behind only Sam Kerr.
Then, she arrived in Utah. Stengel seemed to have earned the favor of Laura Harvey pretty quickly. Although not starting in the first match versus Orlando, Stengel would see 28 minutes of play in that one. She started the next week, however, it would not be until April 21st versus Sky Blue that Stengel scored her first goal in gold. Despite her performance in this game, though, Laura Harvey began taking her out of the starting lineup. Stengel didn’t start another match until the Royals played Sky Blue again on June 2nd in their 2-1 win.
Stengel’s next start was arguably her best game of the season. Scoring a first half brace over Sky Blue, Stengel earned goals 2, bringing her total tally to 3 goals at that point in the season. That brace seemed to be the game that lit a fire under her.
It was also thanks to that game that we got this glorious gif.
The best on of the season is from our Golden boot winner and Newcastle Jets FC player, Katie Stengel pic.twitter.com/s7dIkdXDYL— No. 3 Rick (@Utahrd) November 22, 2018
In the remainder of the season, Stengel would start just 5 more games, although subbing in one many, and scored 3 more goals. Despite a close race for Golden Boot between Stengel and Amy Rodriguez, it would ultimately be Stengel who would win out with her 6th goal, which came on the last game of the season against Chicago.
This season was something few expected from Stengel. We all knew she had the ability to score goals, but with a roster as star-studded as Utah’s, it was hard to know if she’d even be able to get playing time. Needless to say, we’re pretty happy with Stengel’s performance on the field this season.