USWNT REWIND: Goals Abound In Entertaining Weekend Of NWSL Action
Despite three of the six matches resulting draws, the fifth weekend of the 2023 NWSL Regular Season provided no shortage of entertainment with goals and dramatic comebacks in abundant supply.
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening in peculiar fashion, as the North Carolina Courage defeated the Houston Dash, 1-0 at Shell Energy Stadium in a match that was abandoned in the 52nd minute due to persistent inclement weather in the Houston area. As the match had reached halftime, the Courage got credit for the win and the three points. The Courage scored the game’s lone goal in the 33rd minute off an assist from defender Emily Fox, her first of the season and first for her new club after being traded to North Carolina from Racing Louisville FC during the offseason.Louisville and OL Reign squared off in Sunday afternoon in the 1,000th regular season match, playing to a 2-2 draw. It was a tale of two halves as Racing sped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half, before the visitors from Seattle tallied twice in the final 30 minutes to split the points. Megan Rapinoe, who made her first start of the season, put OL Reign on the board in the 69th minute as she converted from the penalty spot. It marked Rapinoe’s first goal of the 2023 campaign and her 13th penalty kick goal all-time in NWSL, the most by any player in league history.
WATCH: RELIABLE RAPINOE FROM THE SPOT
With the deficit cut to one and Louisville down to 10 players after a red card to Savannah DaMelo in the 73rd minute, OL Reign completed the comeback with a goal in the 90th minute. Center back Alana Cook, who scored her first international goal in the USA’s 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on April 12, sent a cross in from the right corner of the penalty area to Canadian international Jordyn Huitema. She jumped above two defenders to head the ball home and level the game. It marked the first assist of Cook’s NWSL career as OL Reign extended its unbeaten streak to five games across all competitions.
The Washington Spirit maintained its unbeaten start to the regular season with a 1-1 draw on the road against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday evening. Washington took the lead in the 29th minute after Trinity Rodman drew a foul in the penalty area. Fellow Spirit forward Ashley Hatch stepped up and nailed the penalty kick to give Washington a 1-0 lead. Hatch, who led the NWSL in scoring in 2021, is currently tied for the league lead in scoring this season with four goals in five games.
WATCH: HATCH PUTS SPIRIT IN FRONT IN CHICAGO
However, Chicago quickly responded and tied the game just four minutes later to secure the point at home.
Portland Thorns FC also remain undefeated on the year following a thrilling 3-3 draw against Angel City FC in front of nearly 17,000 fans at Providence Park. Angel City took the lead in the 10th minute after 18-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson tallied the second goal of her professional career. The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft blazed down the left wing and cut inside before finishing with right-footed blast.
WATCH: THOMPSON GIVES ACFC EARLY LEAD
Portland tied the game in the 32nd minute with a penalty from Japanese international Hina Sugita and took a 2-1 lead in the 65th in a back-and-forth affair that saw three ties and three lead changes. Angel City forced an own goal in the 74th minute to tie the game at 2-2 and scored what looked to be the game-winning goal in the 79th minute as midfielder Julie Ertz scored in trademark fashion, heading in a set piece at the near post. The goal, which came in Ertz’ second match with Angel City FC, was the seventh of her NWSL career and marked her first NWSL regular season goal since 2017. Ertz, who gave birth to her son Madden in August of 2022, made her return to the field for the USWNT during the April International Window, seeing time in both matches against Ireland.
WATCH: ERTZ SCORES OFF SET PIECE
Despite the late deficit, Portland was not deterred and came up with an unlikely equalizer in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, as Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby scored on a backheel flick after a chaotic scramble in the box after a corner kick. With the 3-3 draw, Portland, the 2022 NWSL Champions, remain atop the league table with 11 points from five matches (3W-2D-0L).
San Diego Wave FC fell to third in the table after suffering its first home defeat of the year in a 3-1 loss to the Orlando Pride. The Wave got out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, but three unanswered goals from the Pride proved to be the difference on the day as Orlando earned its first win of the season.
The Kansas City Current made it back-to-back wins to close out the weekend action, defeating NJ/NY Gotham FC 2-0 behind a second-half brace from Brazilian international Debinha.
Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.
|Wednesday, May 3|
|NWSL Challenge Cup: North Carolina Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC||7:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|NWSL Challenge Cup: Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars||8:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|NWSL Challenge Cup: OL Reign vs. Angel City FC||10:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|Saturday, May 6|
|D1 Féminine: Dijon FC vs. Olympique Lyon||7:30 a.m.||Ata Football|
|NWSL: Washington Spirit vs. San Diego Wave FC||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|NWSL: Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville FC||7:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC||7:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|NWSL: OL Reign vs. Houston Dash||10:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|Sunday, May 7|
|NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC||6:00 p.m.||Paramount+|
|NWSL: Angel City FC vs. Kansas City Current||8:00 p.m.||Paramount+|