North Carolina Continues Unbeaten Steak
The seventh week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage remains the lone unbeaten NWSL club. Portland Thorns fell to the Orlando Pride, while the Seattle Reign defeated Sky Blue FC with convincing fashion.
The Houston Dash and Portland Thorns FC opened Week 7 with a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday. Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic scored the opener for Portland 25 minutes in, while Kyah Simon leveled for the hosts in the 57th minute of play. In the second midweek fixture, Utah Royals FC and the Orlando Pride recorded a scoreless draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Portland Thorns FC and the Orlando Pride kicked off the weekend at Providence Park in Oregon. The Pride defeated Portland, 2-1, led by goalscorers Alex Morgan and Christine Nairn. An uncleared cross rolling to the back post set up Morgan for a stretched finish to give Orlando the advantage in the 11th minute. Nairn extended the Pride’s lead ten minutes later with a left-footed volley from 25 yards out, finding Portland goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom off her line. In the 23rd minute, a corner kick from Tobin Heath found Christine Sinclair for the header to put the Thorns on the scoreboard. The hosts were unable to find an equalizer in the remaining time.
Portland Thorns FC is in fifth place (2/W-3/L-3/T), while Orlando sits in third (3-2-3).
The North Carolina Courage extended its unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory over the Washington Spirit. Despite the experience of North Carolina, Washington tested the visitors in front of 5,866 supporters at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Spirit recorded three shots on target, with its best opportunity in the 48th minute when a collected long ball in the box resulted in a pair of saves by Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland. Abby Erceg recorded the game-winning header in the 63rd minute off a free kick from Jaelene Hinkle.
North Carolina claims the top spot (6-0-2), while the Washington Spirit is in eighth (1-4-2).
The Chicago Red Stars and the Houston Dash played out a 2-2 draw at Toyota Park in the third Saturday matchup. Rachel Daly gave Houston the 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with Nichelle Prince recording the assist. In the 20th minute, a miscommunicated pass from Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell led to an easy finish for Sam Kerr of the Red Stars to bring the match level. Kristie Mewis gave the Dash a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute with Kyah Simon notching the assist. Daly served her free kick on the ground to Simon at the top of the penalty area who one-touched a ball to Mewis for the far post finish. Sofia Huerta leveled the match from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after Houston was called for a handball in the box.
The Red Stars are in fourth place (2-2-5), while Houston is currently in seventh (1-3-4).
Seattle Reign FC cruised to a 4-1 victory over Sky Blue FC led by a Megan Rapinoe brace at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium in Washington. Jodie Taylor and Allie Long were the other two goalscorers for the hosts. Savannah McCaskill scored the lone goal for Sky Blue with Carli Lloyd notching the assist. The Reign maintained 52.4% possession and six shots on goal, while Sky Blue recorded five shots on target in the match.
Seattle sits in second place (4-1-1), while Sky Blue FC has yet to record a win (0-4-1).
Photo Credit: ISI Photos