Chicago got a big win in Houston and Orlando got some help from Kansas City, but both teams finally clinched playoffs spots and will join North Carolina and Portland in the postseason which will begin on Oct. 7 in Portland. Here is a summary of what took place around the league this weekend.
Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns (0-0)
It was a hard-fought match in Orlando on Saturday’s Lifetime Game of the Week but neither team could find the back of the net in the 0-0 draw. The result meant that Orlando would have to wait until Sunday to learn its playoffs fate. With the Seattle loss to Kansas City, Orlando officially booked its first postseason trip in franchise history.
Washington Spirit vs. Boston Breakers (0-3: Dowie, OG (Kallman), Leon)
After a tough season for both teams, the match was about ending the year on a positive note, which Boston did with a win at Washington on Saturday while benefiting from a Spirit own goal. The win was the first for the Breakers on the road this year and it snapped a 13-game winless streak away from home, as well as a five-game losing streak.
Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars (2-3: Brooks, Daly; Hoy, Short, Press)
Despite a late push from Houston for an equalizer in the final minutes, Chicago pulled off the win on the road and clinched its third consecutive postseason appearance. Christen Press and Casey Short scored for Chicago. It was Press’ 11th goal of the season – good for fourth in the league – and Short’s first. It was Short’s third career NWSL goal.
Sky Blue FC vs. North Carolina Courage (1-1: Rodriguez; Hatch)
A game-tying 75th-minute goal from Sky Blue FC’s Raquel Rodriguez meant that North Carolina must wait one more game, and earn a win, to secure the club’s first NWSL Shield. North Carolina and Houston are the only teams in the league that still have two games remaining in its schedule. Wednesday’s North Carolina vs. Houston match is a rescheduled game that was to be postponed due to Hurricane Harvey.
Seattle Reign vs. FC Kansas City (0-1: Groom)
In a matchup of the teams that played for the NWSL Championship in 2014 and 2015, it was once again FC Kansas City that emerged triumphant, this time downing Seattle 1-0 at Memorial Stadium and ending the Reign’s chances for a postseason trip.
WNT Players in NWSL Action
Midfielder Julie Ertz – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Midfielder Lindsey Horan – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Defender Ali Krieger – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Forward Christen Press (capt.) – 90 minutes, GOAL, ASSIST (Chicago Red Stars)
Defender Casey Short – 90 minutes, GOAL (Chicago Red Stars)
Defender Meghan Klingenberg – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Forward Alex Morgan – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (capt.) – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Forward Mallory Pugh – 90 minutes (Washington Spirit)
Forward Sydney Leroux – 90 minutes, ASSIST (FC Kansas City)
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Midfielder Allie Long – 60 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielder Tobin Heath – 30 minutes (Portland Thorns)
Defender Kelley O’Hara – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Forward Lynn Williams – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe – 90 minutes (Seattle Reign FC)
Midfielder Samantha Mewis – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Defender Abby Dahlkemper – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Goalkeeper Jane Campbell – 90 minutes (Houston Dash)
Defender Taylor Smith – 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Did Not Play
Midfielder Rose Lavelle – Hamstring injury (Boston Breakers)
Forward Amy Rodriguez – Torn ACL; Out for the season (FC Kansas City)
Midfielder Carli Lloyd – Ankle injury (Houston Dash)
Midfielder Morgan Brian – Unused substitute (Chicago Red Stars)