NWSL Week 8- Recap and Goals of the Week
NWSL Week 8- Recap and Goals of the Week avatar

The giants of the league continued to lose and two draws highlighted a low-scoring, yet entertaining weekend in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The Western New York Flash earned a well-deserved break after defeating the Washington Spirit 3-2 on Memorial Day Weekend.

Let’s highlight each of the four games that took place while the U.S. WNT drew South Korea 0-0 on Saturday, May 30th.

Portland Thorns Lose Second Straight To Spirit

After losing at home to the Houston Dash on Memorial Day weekend 1-0, the Thorns traveled across the country to Washington, only to throw away a lead and lose 2-1.

After escaping the opening ten minutes without conceding a goal, Portland took the lead 18 minutes in thanks to a brilliant through ball from Allie Long and finish by Genoveva Anonma.

After Long gathered the ball in space in the middle of the park, she used the outside of her right foot to put Anonma through on goal. The midfielder placed the ball inside the far post past Kelsey Wys in goal.

Within ten minutes, however, Washington would score two goals to go up for good.

Nairn is shining this season for Washington. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Nairn is shining this season for Washington. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The first goal came courtesy of some great play from Spirit midfielder Christine Nairn, who did well to turn her defender and played a ball over the top to Crystal Dunn and Amanda da Costa.

Dunn appeared to be offside, but since she didn’t interfere with play, Da Costa was free to lift the ball over the onrushing keeper to level the scoreline.

Although Thorns goalkeeper Michelle Betos could blame her defenders for waiting for the offside call on Dunn, she cannot deflect blame for Dunn’s go-ahead goal two minutes later.

Betos had received a pass from a defender, but lollygagged on the ball, took a touch to evade the pressure of Dunn, but the U.S. international used her speed to take the ball off the keeper and pass the ball into the empty net.

Betos buried her head into the field in frustration, but Portland could not find a goal to bail her out.

Dunn’s sixth goal of the season lifts the Spirit to 2nd place in the standings, while Portland are, surprisingly, languishing third from bottom.

Kansas City Shutout On Road In Boston

FC Kansas City, who lost at home to Chicago last week, continued to fall down the standings as they lost 1-0 in Boston to a Breakers team that is now riding a 3-match unbeaten streak.

Nicole Barnhart made some great saves to keep the Breakers off the scoresheet, but it was all in vain as her teammates could not muster up any clear-cut chances.

Kristie Mewis is one of the U.S. fringe players who is shining in the league.(ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Kristie Mewis is one of the U.S. fringe players who is shining in the league.(ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

The goalkeeper could do nothing on the only goal of the game as Kristie Mewis’ shot from 20 yards found the top corner to give the Breakers a deserved lead.

The Breakers had a few more opportunities to extend their lead, but Kansas City could not find a break through, meaning Boston have a 3-0-1 record at home, which is the best in the league.

The two teams are tied on 10 points, but with the tie-breaker being head-to-head, Boston sit in 3rd place, despite the goal difference of -5 to Kansas City’s -1.

Stalemate In Seattle Between Reign and Red Stars

A scoreless game was not on the cards between two teams that played to 3-2 home win in Chicago in April, but that’s what happened as neither team could find the back of the net.

The closest Chicago came to going ahead was when a 20th minute header was cleared off the line by Ellie Reed.

Michele Dalton (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Michele Dalton kept a clean sheet for Chicago. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Five minutes later, Beverly Yanez nearly scored her fourth goal of the season, but her header went straight to grateful grasp of Michele Dalton.

Merritt Mathias unleashed a beautiful shot in the 76th minute, but it clanged off the crossbar.

Despite both teams averaging almost two goals a game, neither could find a way to break the deadlock.

The draw leaves Chicago top of the table, with two more points than their closest rival, while Seattle remain in the bottom half of the table with 8 points form 6 games.

Houston Tie 1-1 Versus Sky Blue

The Dash traveled to New Jersey to play Sky Blue FC for the second time this season, only to come away with another 1-1 draw.

Sky Blue scored the first goal of the game as Katy Freels corner found Kristin Grubka at the back post. The rookie played a smart header across goal to Hayley Haagsma, who then sent a bullet header to the far post.

Houston proceeded to take control of the match and laid siege to the Sky Blue goal, but Brittany Cameron found herself in great form, denying every chance the Dash had to draw level.

Jessica McDonald penalty got saved but fortunately her teammate followed up to score. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Jessica McDonald penalty got saved but fortunately her teammate followed up to score. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The biggest chance came in the 77th minute, when Cameron dove to her right to save a penalty kick from Jessica McDonald after a foul on the edge of the box.

Cameron could do nothing about the equalizer as she made a great save on a close-range chance, but the rebound fell to Allie Bailey, who put the ball through a crowd into the back of the net four minutes from full-time.

Sky Blue could have gone up to mid-table had they held on for the win, but the draw leaves them in last place, while Houston went up a spot to 5th.

 

Team

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Draws

GD

Points

Chicago

7

4

0

3

6

15

Washington

8

4

3

1

1

13

Boston

7

3

3

1

-5

10

Kansas City

8

3

4

1

-1

10

Houston

7

2

2

3

0

9

Seattle

6

2

2

2

4

8

Portland

7

2

3

2

1

8

Western New York

6

2

3

1

-3

7

Sky Blue FC

8

1

3

4

-3

7

 

Goals of the Week: Week 3

Every week, GotSoccer will give you the top three goals of the week. We will factor in skill, difficulty, and importance to determine the top three finishes of the week.

#3: Amanda Da Costa (Washington) vs. Portland Thorns 5/30/2015

You cannot blame Da Costa for the opponents giving up on the play, but you have to give her a huge amount of credit for continuing with the play and lifting the ball beautifully over the keeper.

#2: Genoveva Anonma (Portland) vs. Washington Spirit 5/30/2015

While the finish for the goal was great, the skill to see the pass and execute it was great from Allie Long. The through ball found Anonma, who made a great run, and she slotted past eh onrushing keeper. It put Portland ahead, but they could not hold on to the lead.

#1: Kristie Mewis (Boston) vs. Kansas City 5/30/2015

We factor in skill, difficulty, and importance in our choices for Goal of the Week. This goal scores a 5 out of 5 in every category. Mewis gathered a pass from Kathryn Schoepfer and unleashed an unstoppable shot to the top corner for the only goal of the game over the defending champions.

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