Week 11 saw plenty of excitement in NWSL, with Alex Morgan’s return, Mega Rapinoe’s goal rampage, and the continued excellence of Sam Kerr, so let’s get to the Roundup.
As always, the home team is listed first.
North Carolina Courage (8-4-0) 0 vs Sky Blue FC 1 (6-6-1)
With back to back Player of the Month awards, Sky Blue’s Aussie star Sam Kerr shows no signs of slowing down, scoring the lone goal as the New Jersey side topped first place and defending champion N.C. Courage in Cary, North Carolina on Saturday.
Kerr didn’t do it all herself, of course, captain and U.S. WNT legend Christie Pearce (formerly Rampone) made a huge save off of the goal line to frustrate Makenzy Doniak just three minutes into the match.
Orlando Pride (4-5-3) 0-1 vs Chicago Red Stars (7-3-2)
Alex Morgan’s 65th-minute return wasn’t enough to bring a home victory to the Pride, not against second-place Red Stars. Christen Press scored the only goal of the match on a penalty kick earned by her U.S. WNT teammate Casey Short, who was chopped down in the box just moments after entering the game as a 66th-minute substitute.
Orlando goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe very nearly played the late hero role but her header was saved by Chicago defender Danielle Colaprico. Ali Krieger then walloped the clearance off of the crossbar as the Red Stars hung on for the road win.
Boston Breakers (3-6-3) 1-0 vs Washington Spirit (3-6-2)
The Breakers broke a couple of negative streaks with Saturday’s narrow win over Washington in a bottom of the table battle. Boston ended an eight-game winless run, scoring for the first time in 269 minutes when Margaret Purce scored the game’s only goal in the 72nd minute.
It was the first career NWSL goal for Purce and it came on the same Jordan Field where Purce starred during her college career at Harvard. The Spirit came close to a scoring a late equalizer only for Brooke Elby to channel Christie Pearce to deny Havana Solaun on a late chance.
Seattle Reign (5-2-5) 2-0 vs Portland Timbers (5-4-3)
It was the Megan Rapinoe show in Seattle on Saturday as U.S. MNT star Megan Rapinoe scored twice from play to add to her two pk effort Wednesday versus Chicago.
With her league-leading nine goals, Pinoe would seem to be back at full strength and it will be hard for WNT coach Jill Ellis to keep the dynamic winger out of the lineup when the U.S. WNT opens the inaugural Tournament of Nations in Rapinoe’s city, at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.
FC Kansas City (3-5-4) 1-2 vs Houston Dash (4-7-1)
The final game of the weekend saw FCKC fall at home to the Dash after the home team opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time. Shea Groom put KC on top with her first goal of the season after Groom led the team with six goals in 2016.
Houston leveled through Rachel Daly in the 55th minute with the English striker taking advantage when KC keeper Nicole Barnhart fumbled Daly’s initial shot after Carli Lloyd had put Daly in behind Becky Sauerbrunn with a perfect pass.