As the official start of summer draws closer, the competition in an already-eventful 2023 NWSL Season continues to heat up.
OL Reign, the 2022 NWSL Shield Winners, moved to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dash on Saturday at Lumen Field. Megan Rapinoe tallied her first assist of the regular season, setting up OL’s opening goal in the 53rd minute with a well-placed cross into the area. The Reign scored again in the 68th minute to secure the win and improved to a perfect 3-0-0 at home this season. OL now has a league-leading 13 points from six matches this season (4W-1D-1L) and is unbeaten in seven straight games across all competitions, playing Angel City FC to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night in the Challenge Cup
Following the midweek draw in Seattle, Angel City returned to Los Angeles and registered its first home win of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Current on Sunday afternoon. Alyssa Thompson, who was named NWSL Rookie of the Month for March/April, continued the impressive start to her rookie campaign. Thompson scored her third goal of the regular season in the 31st minute with a nifty right-footed shot from a tight angle, curling her attempt off the far post, back off the near post, and in to give Angel City a 1-0 lead.
WATCH: THOMPSON SCORES STELLAR STRIKE FOR ACFC
Angel City continued to pour it on in the first half and carried a 3-0 lead into the locker room. The hosts withstood an impressive second-half comeback by the Current to secure the 3-2 win.
Portland Thorns FC continued their unbeaten start to the season with a thrilling 3-3 draw against the North Carolina Courage, powered by a brace from Crystal Dunn. The six-goal affair saw the Courage take the lead just 32 seconds into the match after forcing an own goal from the Portland defense. The reigning champions levelled the game in the 22nd minute as 2022 NWSL MVP Sophia Smith attacked down the left flank and drew in the defense before cutting a perfectly weighted ball back across the area for Dunn. Dunn one-timed her attempt in from the top of the box to tie the game at 1-1. Smith, who was named the NWSL Player of the Month for March/April, currently leads the NWSL with five assists this season, three more than any other player, and also leads the league with nine total goal involvements.
WATCH: SMITH PICKS OUT DUNN FOR THORNS GOAL
The Courage reclaimed the lead heading into halftime, but Dunn once again drew Portland level against her former club, scoring her second goal of the game in the 52nd minute. Dunn, who helped lead the Courage to back-to-back NWSL Championships in 2018 and 2019 before being traded to Portland in the Fall of 2020, timed her run perfectly to net the tap-in from close range. Dunn, who put together her first 90-minute performance of the season, is now tied for the league lead in scoring with four goals on the year. The other players with four goals this year are fellow USWNT players Smith, Alex Morgan, Lynn Williams, Ashley Hatch and Brazilian-international Debinha.
WATCH: DUNN ADDS ANOTHER FOR PORTLAND
North Carolina took the lead for a third time in the 70th minute but Portland tied the game in the 83rd to secure a point and remain unbeaten on the year.
The Courage (2W-1D-3L) are now unbeaten in three straight matches across all competitions, playing NJ/NY Gotham FC to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night during Challenge Cup play. The Courage took the lead in the third minute, but a goal from Gotham’s Lynn Williams in the 74th drew the visitors level. Williams got on the end of a cross from the left flank and skillfully redirected the service into the back for the net for her second goal of the 2023 Challenge Cup campaign.
WATCH: WILLIAMS SCORES EQUALIZER FOR GOTHAM
Williams and Gotham carried their momentum into the weekend and registered their fourth wins of the regular season with a 2-1 road win over the Chicago Red Stars. Gotham jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute and doubled its advantage in first-half stoppage time as Williams buried a right-footed blast from the top of the box. Williams has now scored in five of her last six appearances for Gotham across all competitions and has seven goals in 13 total appearances for club and country in 2023.
WATCH: WILLIAMS CONTINUES SCORING WAYS IN CHI-TOWN
Chicago pulled one back in the 54th minute, but the Red Stars could not come up with an equalizer and Gotham held strong for the 2-1 win. Off to fast start with four victories this season, Gotham has already matched its win total from the 2022 campaign.
The Red Stars will be looking to turn momentum in their favor when they return to the pitch this weekend against Racing Louisville FC. Chicago is now winless in four straight games after falling to the Houston Dash 2-0 midweek during Challenge Cup play.
Louisville will also be looking to return to the win column, coming off a 1-0 defeat to the Orlando Pride on Saturday.
Saturday’s early match saw the host Washington Spirit put together a dominant showing against visiting San Diego Wave FC. The Spirit won 3-1 in front of a crowd of 12,232 at Audi Field to continue their unbeaten start to the regular season. After a scoreless first half, the Spirit got on the board in the 55th minute as Trinity Rodman outpaced the Wave backline and calmly slotted the ball in for her third goal of the regular season.
WATCH: RODMAN OPENS SCORING FOR SPIRIT
Fifteen minutes later, Rodman had a hand in another goal for Washington, breaking free down the left flank and picking out Ashley Sanchez at the top of the box. Sanchez one-timed her attempt in the upper left corner to give Washington a 2-0 lead.
WATCH: RODMAN FINDS SANCHEZ FOR SECOND SPIRIT GOAL
The Spirit extend their lead to three with a goal in the 79th minute before Alex Morgan pulled one back for San Diego in the 90th, scoring her fourth goal of the season as she pounced on a rebound from close-range.
WATCH: MORGAN PULLS ONE BACK FOR WAVE
As the European season comes to a close, Olympique Lyon defeated Dijon 3-0 on Saturday to increase its lead to three points atop the D1 Fémenine standings with just two games to go in league play. Lindsey Horan came on in the second half for Lyon, who leads rivals PSG in the league table. The teams will meet on May 13 in the final of the Coupe de France and will meet again in league play on May 21 in a match with significant title implications.
Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.
|Wednesday, May 10
|NWSL Challenge Cup: Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride
|CBS Sports Network
|Friday, May 12
|NWSL: Racing Louisville FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
|NWSL: Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC
|Saturday, May 13
|Coupe de France – Final: Olympique Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain
|NWSL: Angel City FC vs. Washington Spirit
|Sunday, May 14
|NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. OL Reign
|NWSL: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Orlando Pride
|NWSL: Kansas City Current vs. San Diego Wave FC