North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit (2-0: Hatch, own goal)
Saturday marked the fourth consecutive win for the North Carolina Courage and its 13th of the season. The Courage have only conceded one goal in their last four games. The win allows the NWSL-leading side to stay comfortably atop the standings with 39 points, five ahead of second place Portland Thorns.
Boston Breakers vs. Orlando Pride (2-1; Morgan (2); DaCosta)
For the second consecutive week, Alex Morgan helped lead the way for the Orlando Pride, scoring a brace to secure the team’s 2-1 win against Boston and continue her team’s late push into playoff contention. In front of a sold-out crowd of 4,321 fans in Boston, the Pride earned their third win in a row and now sit in fourth place in the standings with 29 points. Orlando has scored 10 goals in its last three games. Ali Krieger had an assist on one of Morgan's goal.
Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign (5-4: Kerr (4), Hayes; Johnson, Fishlock, Kawasumi, Dallstream)
In the last two meetings between Sky Blue and the Reign, the teams have combined to score 18 goals, with both games ending with identical 5-4 score lines. Back on July 22, Seattle hosted New Jersey at Memorial Stadium and was holding a 4-0 lead late in the second half before SBFC miraculously scored four in a row in a 16-minute span to tie the game. The game took another twist when Megan Rapinoe crushed a shot from outside the penalty box for the game-winner in the 87th minute, completing her hat trick and earning Seattle the victory.
This time around, with Rapinoe was not on the field as she continues her rehab from knee surgery, but Australian international Sam Kerr was the scoring star, doing Rapinoe one better with a NWSL single-game record four goals to up her league-leading total to 15 in what has been a spectacular season for the native of Fremantle, Australia.
Down 3-0 at the half, Sam Kerr wasted no time bringing her team back into the match, scoring a hat trick with goals in the 48th, 68th and 71st minutes. Seattle then scored what seemed to be the game-winner in the 85th through Kiersten Dallstream to make it 4-3, but Sky Blue’s Maya Hayes equalized in the first minute of stoppage time to set the stage for Kerr’s heroics. Kerr then put an exclamation mark on her night, scoring her fourth goal and the match-winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time for a 5-4 Sky Blue victory. Kerr not only became the first player in the NWSL history to score four goals in one match, but the three points put New Jersey in sixth place and only three outside of the fourth and final playoff spot. Kerr is now firmly in the lead for the Golden Boot with 15 goals and 3 assists this season.
Portland Thorns vs. Houston Dash (2-0: Horan, Henry)
Following a midweek loss to FCKC, Portland bounced back on Saturday evening in front of a season-high crowd of 19,762 fans with a 2-0 win against Houston Dash to remain in second place in the NWSL standings with 34 points, five behind No. 1 North Carolina. Lindsey Horan scored her fourth goal of the season and the game-winner on a header that was assisted by Meghan Klingenberg. France international Amandine Henry scored the second goal for the Thorns. The match marked the 11th time Portland has drawn a crowd of more than 18,000.
Portland has won five straight home games, a new team record, improving to 8-1-1 at Providence Park this season, which ties their single-season record for most home wins in a season (2016). Additionally, Portland earned its eighth shutout of the season, which is a new single-season record for the club.
Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Kansas City (1-3: Ertz; Leroux, Bowen, Kelly)
A rough stretch continued for Chicago on Sunday with the home team dropping its third consecutive game, a 3-1 loss to FC Kansas City. FC Kansas City took the lead in the first half with a goal from Sydney Leroux and never gave it up. Julie Ertz pulled one back with a nifty finish to make it 2-1 before the visitors scored the third goal to secure its road win. Despite their third home loss in a row, Chicago remains in third place in the NWSL standings, tied at 29 points with fourth-place Orlando Pride. The Red Stars hold the edge in the tie-breaker due to their head-to-head record.
WNT Players in NWSL Action
Midfielder Julie Ertz – 90 minutes, GOAL (Chicago Red Stars)
Midfielder Lindsey Horan – 90 minutes, GOAL (Portland Thorns FC)
Defender Ali Krieger – 90 minutes, ASSIST (Orlando Pride)
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Forward Christen Press (capt.) – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Defender Casey Short – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Defender Meghan Klingenberg – 90 minutes, ASSIST (Portland Thorns FC)
Goalkeeper Jane Campbell – 90 minutes (Houston Dash)
Forward Alex Morgan – 90 minutes, 2 GOALS (Orlando Pride)
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (capt.) – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Forward Mallory Pugh – 90 minutes (Washington Spirit)
Forward Sydney Leroux – 90 minutes, GOAL (FC Kansas City)
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Midfielder Samantha Mewis – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Forward Lynn Williams – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Defender Abby Dahlkemper – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Midfielder Allie Long – 36 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Did Not Play
Midfielder Rose Lavelle – Hamstring injury (Boston Breakers)
Defender Kelley O’Hara – Unused substitute (Sky Blue FC)
Midfielder Tobin Heath – Back injury (Portland Thorns)
Forward Amy Rodriguez – Torn ACL; Out for the season (FC Kansas City)
Midfielder Morgan Brian – Groin injury (Houston Dash)
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe – Left knee surgery (Seattle Reign FC)
Midfielder Carli Lloyd – Ankle injury (Houston Dash)