It was a very strange weekend in NWSL. At least, Saturday was strange - Sunday went just about according to plan. But any time three games in a row in a single day feature an own goal, that’s cause for notice. Players put the ball in the opposing net plenty of times too, including a wild seven-goal game in Washington. Here’s how WNT players did across the league this weekend.
Chicago Red Stars 2 - 0 Houston Dash
Christen Press: She was highly active for Chicago in their win, once again dropping deeper to act as the team’s string-puller. Houston wasn’t able to entirely control her movement and she created pressure consistently throughout the game, although perhaps she should have done better at the end to find a teammate rather than attempt to do everything herself.
Julie Ertz: Ertz picked up another goal for Chicago, this time in the 61’. Though Houston’s defense should have done much better to watch her, that doesn’t take away from her nice one-time finish near post.
Casey Short: She continues to push up very high for Chicago, essentially leaving them with a three-back at times while she goes wide left. She had some attempts to get the ball over the top, but wasn’t as present in the second half of the game.
Alyssa Naeher: Naeher did a good job holding her ground, pawing away a shot-cross in the 30’ and holding on to the clean sheet with another good parry in the 91’ on a Nichelle Prince shot.
Morgan Brian: Brian finally got some minutes this season after returning from injury. She subbed for Sarah Hagen in the 72’ and immediately changed up the tempo for Houston, providing creative pressure for Houston up to the attacking third.
Kealia Ohai: She was as fast as ever, but needed more support from her teammates, support that didn’t really show up until Brian entered the game.
Washington Spirit 4 - 3 Sky Blue FC
Kelley O’Hara: O’Hara is the Swiss knife of Sky Blue FC’s roster. She was all over the field trying to propel them to a win and bagged a heck of a goal in the 12’, absolutely roofing it on a tough angle. Alas, the equalizer would not hold for SBFC.
Portland Thorns 2 - 2 Seattle Reign
Emily Sonnett: Sonnett tried to work the long ball to Portland’s forwards, but it was nothing doing for the Thorns. She also wasn’t doing the greatest job of stepping to Reign players or tracking their runs.
Allie Long: It was a goal for Allie Long on the night, grabbing the late equalizer for Portland. Before that she was working hard to get the ball out of pressure but the Thorns midfield did not look coherent, and Long’s attempts to take on pressure herself went awry.
Lindsey Horan: It took Horan a little time to work into the game. She broke away from Seattle a bit more in the second half and almost got on the end of a good cross in the 60’ but despite her attempts to slow the game down and look for her options from the center, Portland wasn’t very good.
Meghan Klingenberg: She subbed in at the start of the second half for Meghan Cox and was better pushing high on her side, eventually picking up the assist on Long’s goal.
Megan Rapinoe: As feisty as her play could get in the center, that wasn’t enough for the Reign to pull ahead, though they seemed more in control of the game than Portland. She did manage to snap off a great shot in the 78’ that forced Portland GK Franch into a diving save.
Boston Breakers 0 - 1 North Carolina Courage
Megan Oyster: Quite a good game from Oyster, who was called upon often to stop North Carolina’s attack and reset from the back. She stayed calm and worked with her back line to shut down a lot of NC’s pushes forward.
Rose Lavelle: Another competent game from Lavelle, although she had a tough time dealing with the windy conditions on the field. A couple of times in the second half it looked like she might help put a teammate through on goal, but it never came together.
Samantha Mewis: A tougher game for Mewis, who was also dealing with the windy conditions. Boston did their best to go over or around Mewis, who wasn’t able to be as connective for NC as usual.
Lynn Williams: Though she was still an offensive facilitator for NC, she had limited chances and wasn’t able to break through the back line as often as necessary to really threaten for NC.
Jess McDonald: McDonald was also fairly well contained by Boston...except for the one opportunity she pounced on in front of goal, pouncing on a rebound off the woodwork to get the game winner.
FC Kansas City 1 - 1 Orlando Pride
Becky Sauerbrunn: She did her best to handle Marta, and her best looked pretty good for most of the game, but in the end FCKC weren’t able to keep Marta out.
Sydney Leroux: Once again not quite as active as needed to be the difference maker, but Leroux continues to look like she’s trying to get stuck in as the season progresses.
Ashlyn Harris: Almost managed to keep a clean sheet, but initially guessed the wrong way on Yael Averbuch’s free kick, which went off the post and got finished by Erika Tymrak. Also did quite well to recover from her own error, leaping for a ball that was headed for woodwork and getting herself back into position to quickly block the second ball.
Ali Krieger: She was heavily involved in Orlando’s game and helped limit KC’s chances to three SOG.