NWSL Weekend Review – Washington Spirit Lead the League

We’re now heading into Week 4 of NWSL’s 4th season and Washington Spirit continue to dominate as the only team to have won all 3 matches played, while the league champions of 2014 and 2015, FC Kansas City, have not yet recorded a single win.

Seattle – Kansas City

In a replay of last year’s NWSL Championship match, Seattle Reign FC (2-1-0, 6 pts) pulled together their consecutive win of the season, defeating FC Kansas City (0-2-1, 1 pt) 1-0 at home in front of 4,083 fans tying with Chicago for third place. Midfielder Kim Little netted in the only goal in the 56th minute and also earned the NWSL Player of the Week title. FCKC’s offensive attempts were unable to break through Seattle’s solid defense affording Seattle just four shots on goal only one of which required Hope Solo to make a save. In the second half, Merrit Mathias chipped the ball to Manon Melis who then sent it to Kim Little. Little struck into the left corner and collected her second goal of the season. The win marks the third time in four years that Seattle has defeated their rivals.

Reign FC head to Orlando to face the Orlando Pride at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, May 8. Watch live on YouTube at youtube.com/nwsl at 2:00 p.m. PT. FCKC host the Houston Dash on 5:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 8 – be sure to catch them live on YouTube too.

Chicago – Orlando

The Chicago Red Stars won their second consecutive game with a late goal from Christen Press defeating Orlando Pride 1-0. It was Press’ second goal in three games and Alyssa Naeher’s second consecutive clean sheet. Alex Morgan and her teammates couldn’t get on the scoreboard in spite of two near-assists from Lianne Sanderson in the second half with Hagen on the receiving end but the Pride couldn’t get past the hosts’ solid defenses. Minutes later, on a free-kick, Danielle Colaprico sent a perfect pass to Press who shot a right-footed goal past Harris inside the right post. Both sides exchanged more goal efforts but it was only Press’ in the 65th minute that hit the mark at Toyota Park Sunday evening.

The Chicago Red Stars face Boston Breakers at Jordan Field on Saturday, May 7 at 4:00 p.m. PT.

Boston – Portland

The Portland Thorns won on the road against the Boston Breakers thanks to a game-winning goal in the 79th minute by Dagny Brynjarsdottir off Tobin Heath’s fourth assist of the season on Sunday night. Meghan Klingenberg earned Portland Heath’s free kick when she was taken down near the edge of the box. Heath’s cross shot straight into the middle of the box where Brynjarsdottir headed it for the first and only goal of the match. The match also marked goalkeeper Adrianna Franch’s first career start for Portland and first since her appearance for the New York Flash in 2013 NWSL championship game against her current team. Her four saves in the second half meant it also was Portland’s first clean sheet of the season. Not a bad start! Portland’s ranked number 2 with 2 wins and 1 draw. Boston meanwhile has had a tough start and remains at the bottom of the table with 0 points.

Portland heads east to play the number 1 ranked Washington Spirit on May 7 at Maryland SoccerPlex. This is one to not miss. Watch the live stream at 4:00 p.m. PT at www.thornsfc.com.

Houston – Sky Blue

Though Houston Dash outshot Sky Blue FC with 5 more shots on goal, the two rivals ended their Friday night match at BBVA Compass Stadium 0-0. Houston’s Rachel Daly tallied six shots and Sky Blue’s Raquel Rodriguez, the 2016 NWSL Draft second overall pick, had one shot on goal.

Sky Blue FC head home and play Western NY Flash at Yurcak Field at 4:00 p.m. PT.

Washington – NY

On Friday night the Washington Spirit dominated the home team with a 3-0 win over the Western New York Flash in Rochester, New York. The Spirit’s Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson scored twice. First within the match’s early five minutes and her second as a penalty kick in the second half. An own goal within the last fifteen minutes of the game pushed the Spirit’s up to 3-0. USWNT’s Crystal Dunn tallied her third assist in three games with Matheson’s first goal. Cheyna Williams was taken down in the penalty box by Jaelene Hinkle in the 70th minute, earning Washington the penalty kick by Matheson which added their second goal of the night. Ten minutes later, in an effort to clear a free kick from Christine Nairn, in a chaotic box, the Flash accidentally tapped it into their own goal. The Spirit retains their first place slot in the NWSL (3-0-0) and Western New York Flash falls to eighth place (1-2-0).

 

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