A Week of 1-1 Draws
This past week ended with an unusual amount of 1-1 draws between teams- four to be exact. The Chicago Red Stars in particular, played two 1-1 matches, the first against Portland Thorns in Lisle, IL on Thursday and Seattle Reign FC on Sunday in Wash.
Thursday’s match saw Jessica McDonald open scoring for the Thorns in the first minute of play. Not only did she giver her team the lead, but McDonald nabbed the record for fastest goal in NWSL history. Chicago wouldn’t score until late in the second half, with Lori Chalupny supplying the equalizer with a sliding finish to put the ball in.
On Sunday, a determined Red Star’s returned to the pitch, this time against No. 1 Seattle Reign FC. No one would score in the first half, but Seattle kept the pressure on, with Chicago goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc registering five saves in the first half.
In the 70th minute they broke through the Red Star’s back line, with Beverly Goebel blasting a shot into the net. U.S. forward Christen Press came through in the final 10 minutes of regulation, capitalizing on a cross from Jen Hoy to equalize.
Houston Dash took on Washington Spirit and WNY Flash battled Kansas this week- both games going the 1-1 route as well.
Dash came back late in the second half to equalize after dangerous Sky Blue forward Lisa De Vanna put her team up by one in the 19th minute. Marissa Diggs gave Houston the goal they needed to narrowly escape a loss; delighting fans on Thursday at home in Houston, TX.
On Friday, Sarah Hagen scored for FC Kansas City and Samantha Kerr for the Flash at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY. The Blues are currently holding down second place in League Standings.
Sinclair Scores Hat Trick; Sky Blue Upsets Spirit
The biggest upset came for the Boston Breakers, who were ousted by the Thorns 6-3 at Providence Park in Portland on Sunday. Thorns forward Christine Sinclair led the charge, scoring the first hat trick in club history and the fourth in NWSL history.
Currently sitting at last place with only 11 points, the Breakers haven’t managed to break out this year, and they just couldn’t keep composure, buckling under immense Thorns pressure.
Boston started off strong, opening scoring in the 14th minute with a goal from Katie Schoepfer, but forward Allie Long responded with a goal for the Thorns seven minutes later off a penalty kick. Both sides went back and forth with Boston forward Nikki Washington scoring in the 33rd and Sinclair equalizing in the 36th, but once Boston midfielder Heather O’Reilly added the final goal for her team in the 39th, Portland decided enough was enough. Sinclair recorded a hat trick in the beginning of the second half, while Alex Morgan and McDonald rounded out the 6-3 finish.
No. 4 Washington Spirit experienced a shocking let down on Sunday, falling to No. 7 Sky Blue FC 4-2 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ.
Sky Blue dominated from start to finish, with four consecutive goals throughout regulation. Forward Kelley O’Hara stood out with a brace and two assists, including the opening goal in the 22nd minute and a late 85th minute goal. Sophie Schmidt and Nadia Nadim added goals to seal the deal, and though Jodie Taylor and Robyn Gayle scored for Washington in the final minutes, it wouldn’t be enough to put a dent in their opponents comfortable lead.
“We sat down and looked at our past performances, and it was pretty obvious that we needed to be better in front of the goal, both defensively and on the attack,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra told NWSL. “The biggest difference today was that we put our chances away, and Jill (Loyden) came up with some big saves until there in the end when they threw crazy numbers forward. Overall, it was a very good performance for us as a team.”
|1.||Seattle Reign FC||43||18||13||1||4||35||15||20|
|2.||FC Kansas City||34||19||10||5||4||32||25||7|
|3.||Portland Thorns FC||29||19||8||6||5||36||27||9|
|5.||Chicago Red Stars||27||19||7||6||6||24||20||4|
|6.||Western New York Flash||24||19||7||9||3||31||24||7|
|7.||Sky Blue FC||19||18||4||7||7||20||32||-12|