Chicago Red Stars Continue Unbeaten Streak at Home
North Carolina remains at the top of the table as Week 8 concludes with an international break to be observed this weekend. Chicago Red Stars continued their unbeaten run with a win over Seattle, while Portland halted Sky Blue’s undefeated streak at home in 2017.
North Carolina opened the weekend with a 2-0 victory versus FC Kansas City at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
After a pair of defeats versus Chicago, the Courage get back on track versus FCKC with McCall Zerboni and Ashley Hatch scoring for the hosts.
In the 60th minute, defender Abby Dahlkemper sent in a cross that met Abby Erceg for the header on goal. Zerboni redirected the ball on frame that FCKC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart was unable to keep out of the net. Seven minutes later, Lynn Williams collected the ball on the left flank as she sent a through ball between three defenders to meet Hatch alone on goal. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft collected the ball in the penalty area and struck home the first goal of her professional career.
North Carolina (6/W-3/L-0/T) remains in first place with a two-point lead, while FCKC (3-3-2) sits in sixth place.
Cheyna Williams opened the scoring for the hosts in the 3rd minute when Havana Solaun played a through ball to her down the right side of the field. Williams used her pace down the field as she entered the penalty box and calmly placed her shot to the far post.
U.S Women’s National Team prospect Mallory Pugh extended Washington’s lead in the 69th minute as she tallied the first goal of her professional career. The Spirit caught Houston in transition as they marched down the field with Kristie Mewis setting up a lone Pugh in the box. The 19-year-old sent in a low strike that went through the legs of goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Houston was knocking on the door all match but were unable to find the back of the net on the road.
Washington (2-5-1) sits in ninth place after eight weeks, while Houston (2-6-0) is at the bottom of the table.
The 23-year-old opened the scoring for Portland with a powerful header in the 20th minute off a free kick by Nadia Nadim. In the 42nd minute, Horan extended the visiting squad’s lead when Meghan Klingenberg sent in a cross from the left flank that she stretched out to put in the back of the net. Sky Blue recorded six goals on target to Portland’s four; however, the hosts were unable to keep their unbeaten run at home alive.
Portland (4-1-3) claims the third spot, while Sky Blue (4-4-1) drops to fourth place.
Brazilian international Marta gave the hosts the lead in the 9th minute from the penalty mark after she was taken down by Boston goalkeeper Abby Smith. It wouldn’t take long for Orlando to extend their lead when Camila Pereira dribbled past a Boston defender into the box from the left flank. She sent in a low cross that met Jasmyne Spencer for the easy finish on goal.
Orlando (2-3-3) is currently in seventh place, while Boston (2-4-2) sits one position behind the Pride.
Christen Press recorded the eventual game-winner in the 49th minute with forward Sofia Huerta tallying the assist. Julie Ertz played a ball over the defense to Huerta who laid a ball off to Press just outside of the six-yard box. Press finished with a left-footed strike to bring her tally to three on the year. Huerta has three assists in 2017.
Although Seattle maintained 57% possession to Chicago’s 43%, the visiting side was unable to find the back of the net. Seattle (3-2-3) sits in fifth place, while the Red Stars (5-2-1) continue their unbeaten run. Chicago is in second place in the league standings as they remain at the top of the Power Rankings heading into the international break.
Header Photo Credit: ISI Photos