Mary Earps, Rachel Daly and GOAL's Women's Super League Team of the Season
- Women's Super League
- Women's football
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- Aston Villa
- Leicester City WFC
- M. Earps
- Ona Batlle
- M. Le Tissier
- A. Greenwood
- K. McCabe
- E. Cuthbert
- F. Maanum
- K. Dali
- R. Daly
- K. Shaw
- G. Reiten
- J. Leitzig
- D. Turner
- G. George
- Y. Hasegawa
- K. Zelem
- L. Galton
- S. Kerr
What a Women's Super League season it has been. The title race and the relegation battle have gone down to the final day, underlining what a thrilling campaign we have been treated to. It could still get even more dramatic yet, in those final fixtures.
At the centre of all the entertainment has been a huge number of top quality performers, be they familiar faces performing at their consistently high levels or new stars on the rise.
So, who among them has made GOAL's WSL Team of the Season for 2022-23? Here's our best XI...
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GK: Mary Earps (Manchester United)
There have been some great goalkeepers in the WSL this year, but none have been as consistent as Manchester United's Mary Earps. England's No.1 has played a huge role in an excellent season for the Red Devils, with her currently performing at the highest level in her career to date.
No one has ever recorded more clean sheets in a season than the 13 Earps has this year, with her brilliant shot-stopping on show throughout the campaign, while her ability on the ball has been integral to the way United want to play.
RB: Ona Batlle (Manchester United)
Another reason why United have the best defensive record in the division is because of the players in front of Earps. Ona Batlle is one of two players in that back four to make this XI.
The 23-year-old is arguably the best full-back in women's football right now, with her game so wonderfully balanced. She has all the attacking qualities needed in her position in the modern day, with her ranking second for assists in the WSL this term, but Batlle is also excellent when the opponent has the ball, with few better defensively in a one-v-one situation.
CB: Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)
After playing a starring role for Brighton since her debut with the club aged 16, this season has seen Maya Le Tissier prove that she can do it at an even higher level. The young defender has thrived despite the added pressure and scrutiny that comes with representing Manchester United, earning herself opportunities with the England senior team as a result.
Having played at full-back often with the Seagulls, Le Tissier has settled nicely into playing centre-back week in, week out in Manchester, with no one in the league performing better in the role all year.
CB: Alex Greenwood (Manchester City)
It's been a difficult season for Manchester City, but they've still had a number of top performers, with Alex Greenwood among them. She has excelled since moving into a central defensive role on a full-time basis several years ago, with her ability on the ball a huge reason why she suits it so well at her current club.
Greenwood's passing range, set-piece deliveries and composure on the ball are all important to how City play, but her defensive abilities shouldn't be overlooked either. Her timing in a tackle is exceptional, with her winning 82 percent of hers this year.
LB: Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
Her attacking numbers this season are not as high as previously, but there are several reasons why Arsenal's Katie McCabe makes this team. In what has been a very tough season for the Gunners, with so many key players lost to injury, the Ireland captain has been a consistent threat out wide, with no one in the Arsenal squad delivering more successful crosses, and only Caitlin Foord racking up more assists.
Then, when needed in the backline in order to cope with absentees, she's been a very reliable defensive presence, too, while the value of her leadership cannot be quantified. It's been massive in helping her team secure European football.
CM: Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea)
Arguably Chelsea's best performer this term, Erin Cuthbert continues to be a revelation since moving into a deeper midfield role. The Scot ranks among the top five in the Chelsea squad for tackles won, interceptions made, successful passes into the final third and direct goal involvements, underlining how she contributes to her team's all-round play on both sides of the ball.
The attacking players in the Blues' squad might get the headlines, but they would not be in pole position to win another WSL title without the work of Cuthbert in midfield.
CM: Frida Maanum (Arsenal)
One of the top performers across the WSL this year, Frida Maanum has shone in her second season with Arsenal. After pushing her way into the starting XI a few games into the current campaign, the Norway international has been exceptional, regularly proving to be the difference on the pitch.
No one has scored or been directly involved in more goals for the Gunners in the league, with her contributions playing a vital part in getting them into the European spots, despite a difficult year.
CM: Kenza Dali (Aston Villa)
It feels like the performances of Kenza Dali have slipped under the radar a little bit this season. Rachel Daly has put up record-breaking numbers in front of goal for Aston Villa, but a huge factor in that has been the relationship that has blossomed between her and her French team-mate.
It's something that first formed while Daly was at West Ham for a short spell, but has come on leaps and bounds in a Villa team that Dali has contributed so much to. That's not just in the form of her creativity, but also her experience, composure, hard work and general natural ability, all of which have been on show so consistently in the Midlands.
FW: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)
We've cheated a little bit here by putting Daly on the right-hand side of a front three, but it would be simply unfair not to include both her and Man City's Bunny Shaw in this team.
The England international has taken her game to another level this season, her growth as a goalscorer simply wonderful to watch, while the way she has contributed to Villa's all-round game has been important in such a fantastic year for the team.
Daly's energy up top and the way she presses is integral to how Carla Ward wants the team to play, with her an absolute nuisance for any defender to play against, while her ability to carve out opportunities for others has also put her name in the record books.
- Getty Images
FW: Bunny Shaw (Manchester City)
Like Daly, Shaw has earned a lot of plaudits for her goalscoring exploits this season - and deservedly so. The Man City forward has been in fine form, racking up an incredibly impressive tally of 18 goals in 21 games.
But her performances have been applaudable for many more reasons, too. The way that Shaw contributes to City's build-up play is very important, while she can be the unsung hero at times for the way her movement drags defenders away for others to have the space to score.
Her pressing and her defensive work, especially from set-pieces, have made her an excellent team player throughout the year, not just a very, very prolific striker.
FW: Guro Reiten (Chelsea)
At this point, every defender in the WSL knows what Guro Reiten is about and what she can do with that wicked left foot of hers (and the right foot, too, if they saw her superb goal against Lyon in the Champions League).
But that doesn't make her any easier to stop. Reiten came into the league with an explosive stand-out season and, after her second campaign was hindered by a back injury, she's exceeded even that level this year, playing the best football of her career to date.
That's particularly admirable because of how Chelsea have been hit by injuries. The Blues have been without Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder for large spells, but Reiten has stepped up and carried the creative burden without complaint and with remarkable consistency to put them on the brink of a fourth WSL title in a row.
Picking a team of the season is always difficult and there will always be players who fall by the wayside despite having amazing years.
Janina Leitzig is one of those who is unlucky to miss out, the Bayern Munich loanee excelling in incredible fashion since arriving at relegation-threatened Leicester in January. She's made saves that look set to keep them up.
At Aston Villa, Dan Turner is another summer signing who has been a revelation. The left-back arrived from Everton on a free transfer and was duly converted into a centre-back ahead of the first game of the season. She's not looked back since and, at 31 years old, is in the best form of her career.
Turner's former team-mate Gabby George has been another outstanding defensive performer. Her versatility has been so important to Everton but, somehow, has never disrupted her consistency.
In midfield, Yui Hasegawa has shone at Man City despite playing something of an unnatural position, filling the rather big boots of Keira Walsh admirably well. Across the city, United captain Katie Zelem is another who you could say is playing her best football to date.
It might not have been Sam Kerr's most prolific season in front of goal, but the Chelsea forward has still scored some huge ones that could well win her team the title. Leah Galton, though, may be the most unlucky to not make this XI. The Manchester United winger has been absolutely sensational all year - but is just pipped to the left wing position by Reiten.