North Carolina Continues Unbeaten Steak
The sixth week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage remains the lone unbeaten NWSL club. Seattle Reign and the Chicago Red Stars are tied for second place, sitting seven points behind the league leaders.
The Orlando Pride and the Chicago Red Stars opened Week 6 with a matchup on Wednesday, May 2nd, at Toyota Park. The Pride edged Chicago, 2-0, led by goalscorers Chioma Ubogagu and Rachel Hill. Despite holding 50.9% possession during the match, the Red Stars recorded one shot on goal to Orlando’s six.
In the first matchup of the weekend, Portland Thorns FC and Seattle Reign FC played out a five-goal thriller at Providence Park in front of 16,054 supporters. Seattle Reign topped Portland, 3-2, and will return home with three points and tied for second in the league standings. Beverly Yanez converted a header off a corner from Nahomi Kawasumi in the 36th minute to give the visitors the opening lead. In the 61st minute, Emily Sonnett pounced on an uncleared ball off a corner kick for the equalizer. Jodie Taylor converted from the penalty spot two minutes later to regain the advantage for the Reign. In the 70th minute, a Meghan Klingenberg cross from the left flank found the head of Lindsey Horan to bring the match level once again for the Thorns. Rumi Utsugi recorded the game-winner five minutes later with a left-footed strike from 25-yards out.
Seattle is tied for second place (3/W-1/L-1/T), while Portland is tied for fourth (2-2-2) with the Orlando Pride (2-2-2).
The Houston Dash recorded its first win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field in New Jersey. Sky Blue FC maintained 58.6% possession and was led by Katlyn Johnson who recorded a brace on the afternoon. Nichelle Prince scored the opener for the Dash in the 24th minute when a corner falling to the far post was laid off by Lindsay Agnew in front of the goal line. Prince was set up for the tap-in finish. With the match deadlocked in the 79th minute, Thembi Kgatlana collected a long ball down the right flank and dribbled into the penalty area. Kgatlana found a streaking Veronica Latsko at the back post for the game-winner.
The Houston Dash is in eighth (1-3-2), while Sky Blue FC has yet to record a win (0-3-1).
Utah Royals FC recorded its first win in franchise history with a 2-0 victory over the Washington Spirit. Kelley O’Hara put the hosts on the scoreboard in the seventh minute with Amy Rodriguez recording the assist. Rodriguez served a weighted ball between two Washington defenders that O’Hara finished with a one-time strike from the top of the penalty area. Diana Matheson’s lone effort extended Utah’s lead in the 66th minute. Matheson dispossessed the Washington defense and calmly chipped the ball over the goalkeeper that came crashing in.
Utah Royals FC are in sixth place (1-1-4), and the Washington Spirit are tied for seventh (1-3-2).
The North Carolina Courage and the Chicago Red Stars tied, 1-1, at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park to conclude the weekend. Sam Kerr put the Red Stars on the scoreboard in the 37th minute off a collected long ball and placed finished to the back post. The Sunday matchup was highlighted by Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher who recorded 12 saves on the road. Despite Naeher’s Player of the Week bid, the Courage kept knocking and found the equalizer in the 82nd minute. A corner kick to the far post found Abby Erceg who hit the ball back across goal to find McCall Zerboni for the one-time volley.
North Carolina claims the top spot (5-0-2), while the Red Stars are tied for second (2-2-4).
Photo Credit: Bryan Byerly/ISI Photos