North Carolina Continues Dominant 2018 Run
The fourteenth week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage sits thirteen points clear of second place. Christen Press scored her first goal for Utah Royals FC in a victory over Sky Blue FC, while Seattle Reign FC edged Portland Thorns FC.
The Houston Dash edged the Orlando Pride, 2-1, in the first midweek fixture on Wednesday, June 27. Utah Royals FC and Seattle Reign FC followed up with a scoreless draw at Rio Tinto Stadium. Christen Press made her debut for Utah after joining the club in recent weeks. Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC played out a 1-1 draw at Providence Park in the final midweek fixture.
The Pride fell to the North Carolina Courage, 3-0, in the first matchup of the weekend at Orlando City Stadium. The Courage were led by three goalscorers as the league leaders continue their dominance in 2018. Debinha recorded the first goal of the match in the 37th minute following an uncleared ball in the penalty area. Merritt Mathias extended North Carolina’s lead two minutes later when her strike took a deflection and found the back of the net. In the 40th minute, Crystal Dunn slotted a ball into the penalty area to an unmarked Jessica McDonald who calmly finished to the far post.
North Carolina claims the top spot (11/W-1/L-3/T), while the Orlando Pride is tied for third place (6-5-4).
Utah Royals FC topped Sky Blue FC, 3-1, at Rio Tinto Stadium led by Christen Press and Katie Stengel. Press recorded her first goal and assist in a Royals kit, while Stengel notched a brace to give Utah a 3-0 halftime lead. Carli Lloyd put Sky Blue on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute following an uncleared ball that was directed in her path at the top of the penalty area. Lloyd stretched and sent a left-footed strike into the back of the net. Utah’s inaugural NWSL campaign continues to be promising with the club two points behind second place.
Utah Royals FC is currently in fifth place (5-3-6), while Sky Blue FC has yet to record a win (0-10-3).
Seattle Reign FC topped Portland Thorns FC, 1-0, at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium in the final matchup of Week 14. The match was scoreless heading into stoppage time, but a last-minute finish from Jodie Taylor put the hosts on the scoreboard. In the 89th minute, Megan Rapinoe collected the ball on the left flank at the corner of the penalty area, dribbled down the end line and sent in a cross on the ground that met Taylor for the easy finish. Seattle recorded nine shots on target and maintained 58.6% possession, while the defending NWSL champions were unable to tally a shot on goal.
Seattle sits in second place (6-3-5), while Portland is in sixth (5-5-5).
The Chicago Red Stars defeated the Washington Spirit, 2-0, in the final Week 14 matchup at Toyota Park in Illinois. In the 34th minute, a corner kick from Danielle Colaprico met Casey Short for the header to put the hosts on the scoreboard. Chicago extended its lead in the 60th minute with Yuki Nagasato recording the goal. Sam Kerr broke free down the left flank and sent a driven cross to Nagasato who finished with an authoritative header from the penalty spot. The Red Stars tallied seven shots on target to Washington’s two in the home victory.
The Red Stars are tied for third place (5-3-7), while the Washington Spirit is in eighth (2-9-4).
Photo Credit: ISI Photos