NWSL Week 7 – Hope Solo makes league debut
NWSL Week 7 – Hope Solo makes league debut avatar

It’s a wrap for week 7 of the NWSL season as things are getting a little more scrappy on the field. The team’s are beginning to come into their own, and with the summer heating things up, the pressure is mounting for who will stay on top.

The drama award goes to Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign this week

Portland took home the 1-0 victory in Tuwila, Wash last Saturday, but it was one shrouded in controversy due to a questionable referee call that left the Thorns jumping for joy and Seattle a bit bitter.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo made her NWSL debut after recovering from surgery and this served to electrify Seattle. They gave the Thorns a run for their money, dominating the first half and working Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

It was neck-and-neck till the 84th minute, when the fateful penalty kick was awarded to the Thorns. A foul was decided when Christine Sinclair crossed to midfielder Allie Long in the penalty box.  The referee’s whistle bellowed when Seattle midfielders Kaylyn Kyle and Kristen Meier pushed in on Long.

Sinclair took the shot and it whizzed past Solo.

“Unfortunately, Portland didn’t earn the victory and I think that’s what’s most disappointing for our team,” Solo told reporters. “They didn’t earn it. Dubious call. Referee gives it up. That’s really all I’ve got to say.”

Seattle head coach Laura Harvey didn’t have much to say either in a press conference following the game, stating, “The referees are a joke. Next question.”

Scoring Summary

  • POR- Christine Sinclair (penalty kick) 84′

Sanderson leads Breakers, leads in assists that is

Washington Spirit didn’t stand a chance against the fury of forward Lianne Sanderson last Saturday at a packed stadium in Somerville, MA.

Boston's Lianne Sanderson got assists on all 3 goals. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Boston’s Lianne Sanderson got assists on all 3 goals. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The Boston Breakers won 3-0, using their disappointing loss last week to stoke the fire, and boy was that fire roaring.  They snagged the victory and held Washington (1-4-3) without a single shot on goal. It was enough to pull them up to second place in league standings for week 7.

The Breaker’s got their first big break in the 38th minute. Sanderson got the ball from forward Kyah Simon, who had worked tirelessly in midfield for possession. With perfect precision, Sanderson sent the ball flying over the top to midfielder Heather O’Reilly. It was a flawless setup for her to send the ball whirring past Chantel Jones in the net for the 1-0 lead.

The second Breakers goal came in the 53rd minute. Sanderson once again saw a golden opportunity and set up another perfect play, dribbling the ball into the far corner and crossing to forward Katie Schoepfer. She cracked it in like a whip to up the lead 2-0.

Simon issued the final goal off of a third Sanderson assist with 24 minutes to spare. Charging forward, eyes on Washington’s beckoning net, it was over in seconds, as she blasted the ball in to seal Boston’s victory and tally her first goal of the season.

Scoring Summary

  • BOS- Heather O’Reilly (Lianne Sanderson) 38′
  • BOS- Katie Schoepfer (Lianne Sanderson) 53′
  • BOS- Kyah Simon (Lianne Sanderson) 66′

WNY Flash gets the win with Wambach’s favorite: A couple of Explosive Headers

Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY was filled to the brim last Friday, as fans gathered to watch WNY Flash take on the Chicago Red Stars in a battle that rendered the home team victorious 2-0.

Taylor (L) got a team high of 2 assists for the Western NY Flash. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Taylor (L) got a team high of 2 assists for the Western NY Flash. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Though the Flash kept possession and came on aggressively in the first half, all eyes were on the Red Stars goalkeeper Taylor Vancil. It was her NWSL goalie debut, and what a debut it was! Taking the place for injured Erin McLeod, Vancil made several key saves and managed to keep the opposition at bay.

The Stars perseverance against constant attack was rewarded in the 52nd minute. Team captain Lori Chalupny zeroed in a counterattack pass from forward Jessica McDonald, sending the ball straight into the back of the net for 1-0 lead. But the glory was short lived, as this would only shake up the Flash’s hunger for a goal of their own.

It came just two minutes later with what else- a Wambach header. She dove at the last minute capitalizing on an assist from defender Brittany Taylor.

Then, in the 66th minute it was Taylor again on the assist. She directed a corner kick in and midfielder McCall Zerboni’s head was there to smash the ball right into the net for the win.

Scoring Summary

  • CRS – Lori Chalupny (Jessica McDonald) 52’
  • WNYF – Abby Wambach (Brittany Taylor) 54’
  • WNYF – McCall Zerboni (Brittany Taylor) 66’

Nothing new with Sky Blue- Just another successful week

Sky Blue picked up a clean 1-0 win against FC Kansas City last Saturday in Overland Park, KS off a penalty kick- nothing too exciting.

Sky Blue continue their winning streak. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Sky Blue continue their winning streak. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

It was forward Lisa DeVanna who got things moving, leading a chase as she darted into the box with the ball with the opposition close behind her. This included Canadian international Lauren Sesselmann, who made the mistake of hooking DeVanna’s jersey and pulling her to the ground. The outcome was clear, and a penalty kick was awarded to Sky Blue. Sophie Schmidt took the shot, and it was a go, sailing past goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and landing in the right corner of the net.

Scoring Summary

  • SBFC- Sophie Schmidt (penalty kick) 23′

LEAGUE STANDINGS

# NWSL GP W L T PTS
1. Sky Blue FC 8 6 1 1 19
2. Portland Thorns FC 8 6 1 1 19
3. Boston Breakers 6 3 1 2 11
4. Western New York Flash 6 3 2 1 10
5. FC Kansas City 6 3 2 1 10
6. Washington Spirit 8 1 4 3 6
7. Chicago Red Stars 6 0 4 2 2
8. Seattle Reign FC 8 0 7 1 1

About Courtney Lambert

A competitive athlete in her college days, Courtney writes on events happening at state and local level. She has previous experience covering news and writing for the Jacksonville Times Union and graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in journalism.
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