NWSL Week 18- Recap and Goals of the Week
NWSL Week 18- Recap and Goals of the Week avatar

There was tons of action across four exciting games in the NWSL Saturday night, including last-minute winners, hat tricks, and red cards.

The Portland Thorns sat out this week with a bye, having only won two of their last twelve games.

Seattle Leave Boston With Three Points

The Seattle Reign defeated the Boston Breakers on a rainy day 2-1 in front of 4,325 fans.

Boston, while maintaining the bulk of possession in the opening stages, did not create too many goal-scoring chances.

Beverly Yanez was once again on the scoresheet for Seattle.  (ISI Photos/Tim Bouwer)

Beverly Yanez was once again on the scoresheet for Seattle. (ISI Photos/Tim Bouwer)

Seattle notched the opening goal in the 24th minute through Beverly Yanez, giving her nine goals on the season.

Kim Little floated a corner towards the back post and, despite Alyssa Naeher getting a slight touch on the ball, it found Yanez waiting unmarked at the backpost, where she roofed her shot past the goalkeeper.

The lead only lasted ten minutes, however, as Kristie Mewis headed Boston level in the 34th minute.

Suzane Pires found herself with tons of room on the left side and played a quality cross into the middle, where Mewis flicked a header in off the crossbar from twelve yards out.

The scoreline was carried into the break, but Seattle took the lead for good in the 58th minute through a Kim Little penalty kick.

Little earned the penalty herself, settling a throw in, turning her defender, and barging into the box before she was brought down by Julie King, who earned a yellow card for her troubles.

Little stroked home the penalty kick confidently, going to the lower left corner, beating the outstretched hand of Naeher in goal.

The yellow card proved vital as King received her marching orders in the 82nd minute for pulling back on Yanez as she made her way forward, but it didn’t have much effect on the game as Seattle maintained possession throughout the second half.

The loss is Boston’s third in a row and leaves them bottom of the table, while Seattle are at the opposite end, 4 points ahead of their nearest challengers in Chicago.

Sky Blue Fall At Home To Flash

Sky Blue’s recent run of good form came to an end as they lost 2-1 to the Western New York Flash.

The game was back-and-forth throughout the entire match, with a combined 30 shots taken in the game.

Both Chantel Jones and Brittany Cameron were on top of their game for the majority of the contest, making a number of fine saves to keep the scoreline close.

Lady Andrade in action for Colombia at the 2015 WWC. (Getty Images)

Lady Andrade in action for Colombia at the 2015 WWC. (Getty Images)

That was until the 35th minute, when Colombian international Lady Andrade scored her first goal for the Flash to put the visitors ahead.

It certainly wasn’t the prettiest goal, Cameron mis-hitting a back pass after coming under pressure. The ball went straight to Andrade, who one-timed her shot into the empty net.

The hosts leveled shortly after the break, with Kelley O’Hara playing a one-two with Samantha Kerr and rifling her finish into the top corner past Jones.

Sky Blue had a number of opportunities to go ahead, but Jones was up to the challenge.

Substitute Elizabeth Eddy managed to notch the winning goal for the Flash in the 89th minute with a great diving header to connect with Lynn Williams’ cross to the back post.

It was tough to separate the two teams, but the Flash just edged the contest, their first of a four-game roadtrip.

Both teams remain in the bottom half of the table, Flash in 6th place, four points ahead of Sky Blue in 8th.

Dunn Hat-trick Leads Spirit Past Dash

Three Crystal Dunn goals across 17 first half minutes paved the way to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dash in front of 5,418 fans.

Dunn, who came into the game tied with Beverly Yanez on 9 goals for the season, got her first goal in the 28th minute, beating 3 defenders with her speed and shooting low past Canadian international Erin McLeod, who was injured and taken off shortly after the goal.

Crystal Dunn has been outstanding for Washington. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Crystal Dunn has been outstanding for Washington. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Her second came eight minutes later, racing on to a ball over the top from Diana Matheson and using a side-foot finish to put the ball past Bianca Henninger.

Dunn is not known for scoring many headers, being just 5-foot-1, but she rose highest and flicked a great header to the far post to clinch her hat-trick in stoppage time.

Houston got one back through Jessica McDonald, who made a great run to connect with Kealia Ohai’s cross. Her header sailed past Ashlynn Harris in goal.

But that is as close as the visitors would come, losing 3-1 to great first half display from Crystal Dunn, who now has 12 goals on the season.

Both teams remain in playoff spots, Washington in third place, four points ahead of Houston, who have played a game more than Washington as well.

Chicago and Kansas City Battle To 2-2 Draw

Kansas City and Chicago played to another 2-2 draw in last game Saturday night, having drawn 2-2 earlier in the season.

A sellout crowd was on hand to see Christen Press bag two goals, but it was not enough as Sarah Hagen scored a late equalizer after Amy Le Peilbet scored earlier in the game.

Christen Press continues where she left off. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Christen Press continues where she left off. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Press got her first goal after Lori Chalupny played a great through ball to the forward, who took a touch around goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and slotted home into the empty net.

But Kansas City leveled the scoreline in the 36th minute through the head of Le Peilbet. The defender managed to flick Lauren Holiday’s cross on goal and into the back of the net, despite goalkeeper Michele Dalton making contact with the ball.

After some half chances for both teams in the next 40 minutes, Press put Chicago back on top with a beautiful finish inside the box.

Chalupny had the assist again, finsing Press with her back to goal on the edge of the area. Press poked the ball one way, cut back to the other direction and lifted the ball into the top corner, giving Rowland no chance.

Another header drew Kansas City level, this time from Sarah Hagen. The substitute did well to connect with Heather O’Reilly’s inswinging cross, heading the ball up and over Dalton in the 87th minute.

Chicago remain in second place, three points behind Seattle but having played a game less. Kansas City sit in fifth  place, only one point behind Houston in the last playoff spot.

Team

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Draws

GD

Points

Seattle

15

9

3

3

13

30

Chicago

14

7

1

6

9

27

Washington

14

7

4

3

4

24

Houston

15

5

5

5

0

19

Kansas City

15

5

6

4

1

15

Western New York

15

5

7

3

-5

18

Portland

14

4

6

4

-1

16

Sky Blue

15

3

7

5

-8

14

Boston

15

3

9

3

-13

12

 

Goals of the Week: Week 18

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: Samantha Mewis (Boston Breakers) vs. Seattle Reign 8/1/2015

Mewis’ equalizer versus Seattle was a perfectly executed header. The cross from Suzane Pires was on point and Mewis made no mistake, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and in off the crossbar. While Boston went on to lose the game, their goal was easy on the eye

#2: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit) vs. Houston Dash 8/1/2015

Most other weeks, you’d see Dunn’s name atop this list. Her speed is lethal and she showed that as she gathered the ball just inside the attacking half and raced past a number of Dash defenders, eventually finishing coolly past Erin McLeod. All three of her goal were gems, but this was the best of the lot.

#1: Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) vs. FC Kansas City 8/1/2015

Words can hardly describe how great this goal was. To have the ball with your back to goal, make a fool out of some defenders and lift the ball into the top corner takes an immense amount of skill. Press is one of the most dangerous forwards in the NWSL and it’s easy to see why.

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