Orlando Brings North Carolina Courage Down
North Carolina Courage remains atop the table after recording its first loss of the season versus the Orlando Pride in Week 5. Seattle Reign cruised to a 6-2 victory over Washington, while the Red Stars and the Boston Breakers played out a 1-1 draw to conclude Mother’s Day Weekend in the NWSL.
NWSL ANNOUNCEMENT: U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh has been acquired by the Washington Spirit, utilizing its number one spot in the Distribution Ranking Order. The 19-year old became the youngest player since 2005 to make her debut for the U.S. Women’s National Team when she earned her first cap on January 23, 2016. She has scored four goals in 22 international appearances thus far.
NWSL Soccer News: The fifth week of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season comes to a close as the North Carolina Courage remain atop the table despite losing its first match of the campaign on Saturday.
Sarah Killion opened the scoring for the New Jersey club from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. A high boot to the face of forward Samantha Kerr sent Sky Blue to the mark to take a first half lead. The visiting squad extended its advantage eight minutes into the second half with Kerr catching Houston in transition and sending Leah Galton alone on goal with goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Galton took Williams wide to the left and finished with ease.
Houston’s Poliana Barbosa Medeiros was able to put the Dash on the scoreboard in the 76th minute but Kerr would extend Sky Blue’s lead once again in the 87th minute.
Sky Blue (2/W-2/L-1/T) will welcome Houston (2-3-0) to Yurcak Field next week in the Lifetime Game of the Week.
Seattle Reign FC defeated the Washington Spirit with a dominating 6-2 performance at Memorial Stadium. The hosts were led by Nahomi Kawasumi who recorded four assists and one goal in the matchup. Megan Rapinoe added a brace as well as three other goal scorers finding the net for Seattle.
Seattle (2-1-2) is tied for second place with Portland, while Washington (1-3-1) continues to search for its form heading into Week 6.
FCKC (1-2-2) head on the road to take on the Spirit in Week 6. Portland sits tied for second in points with Seattle (2-1-2) as they head to Boston for a Friday afternoon matchup.
The Orlando Pride recorded its first win of the 2017 campaign with a 3-1 victory over the North Carolina Courage. Three goal scorers for Orlando gave the Courage its first loss of the season after recording four wins to kick off the year.
A low cross from defender Ali Krieger set up Chioma Ubogagu who came crashing in on the back post for the finish. Camila Pereira extended Orlando’s lead with a one-v-one finish past North Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo in the 50th minute.
The Courage answered right back with Debinha De Oliveira finishing her shot from the top of the box with ease in the 51st minute. Jasmyne Spencer scored in the 82nd minute to give the Pride a 3-1 lead, which would go on to be the final scoreline.
“In order for us to have a great opportunity and create chances is to defensively stay compact and tight and organized and everything else will follow suit,” said Krieger. “That was the plan and we stuck to it and in time we knew we were going to create chances and score goals.”
Orlando (1-2-2) heads to Seattle during Week 6, while North Carolina (4-1-0) returns home to take on the Red Stars.
Rose Lavelle opened the scoring in the 69th minute with a left footed strike off a blocked shot to the back post. The rookie tallied her second goal of the season. Chicago would record the late equalizer in the 89th minute when Sofia Huerta’s cross connected with Christen Press who headed home the opportunity.
Chicago (2-2-1) and the Boston Breakers (2-2-1) have recorded seven points on the year as they remain tied with Sky Blue FC for fourth place.
Header Photo Credit: Jane Gershovich Gridley/ISI Photos