The National Women’s Soccer League has produced a number of highlights in its five seasons, and fans were treated to one of the most insane matches in league history in Week 14. A change at the top for the first time since Week 2, a running Golden Boot battle heating up, and much more were on display, and here are the latest Power Rankings for you to enjoy.
1 (+1). Chicago Red Stars (8-3-4; def. Orlando 2-1)
Chicago hosted Orlando looking for their 4th consecutive win against the visitors, and although the Red Stars were second best in almost every offensive category on the day, they got on the scoreboard in the first half when Christen Press slipped through the Pride’s backline and rounded the keeper to slot home. Press added a second in the second half after capitalizing on a turnover by Orlando, and despite the Pride pulling a goal back in stoppage time, Chicago held on for the 3 points and moved to the top of the standings.
Next match: 8/5 @ Orlando at 7:30 PM EST.
2 (+3). Portland Thorns FC (7-4-4; def. Washington 2-1)
Portland faced off against Washington seeking a reversal of the two teams’ previous match, but after a couple of chances wasted in the first half, the Thorns seemed headed for a defeat. Especially when the Spirit took a second half lead. But Allie Long equalized for Portland shortly after the Washington goal, and then Mallory Weber came off the bench to score her first career NWSL goal, which gave all 3 points to the home side.
Next match: 8/5 vs Houston at 3:30 PM EST.
3 (-2). Sky Blue FC (7-7-2; lost to Seattle 5-4)
Sky Blue traveled to Seattle looking to continue their red hot July, but their injury-riddled defense was ripped apart by the Reign’s high-powered offense. Any chance for points seemed lost when Seattle lead 4-0 after 56 minutes. But the Jersey side fought back, with Kelley O’Hara converting a penalty to get Sky Blue on the board. Leah Galton added a second, Daphne Corboz scored her first NWSL goal for Sky Blue’s third, and Sam Kerr tallied the equalizer for what appeared to be an epic comeback. But the effort to erase the deficit proved to be in vain when the Reign scored their 5th goal of the game, leaving Sky Blue with no points.
Next match: 8/4 vs Washington at 7 PM EST.
4 (-1). North Carolina Courage (9-5-0; ppd)
North Carolina’s away match vs Kansas City was postponed due to inclement weather.
Next match: 8/5 vs Seattle at 7:30 PM EST.
5 (+1). Seattle Reign FC (6-3-6; def. Sky Blue 5-4)
Seattle took on Sky Blue in a battle of the NWSL’s two highest scoring offenses, and it was the Reign who drew first blood on a well struck free kick from Megan Rapinoe in the 27th minute. Seattle’s offense came alive in the second half with Rapinoe getting her second off a penalty, Beverly Yanez adding a third, and an own goal by Sky Blue giving the Reign a seemingly insurmountable lead. A penalty awarded to Sky Blue put the visitors on the board, and they scored three more to pull level at 4 all. But Rapinoe ensured that it would be Seattle coming away with the points, scoring the winner in the 87th minute for her second career hat trick.
Next match: 8/5 @ North Carolina at 7:30 PM EST.
6 (+1). Houston Dash (6-7-2; def. Boston 1-0)
Houston played Boston at home for the second time this season, but unlike their previous match, the fans were treated to a goal after Nichelle Prince beat the Breakers’ defense for the only score of the game. And although the Dash were unable to take advantage of several more opportunities to add an insurance goal, Jane Campbell and the Houston defense shut down Boston’s attack and came away with the win.
Next match: 8/5 @ Portland at 3:30 PM EST.
7 (-3). Orlando Pride (5-6-4; lost to Chicago 2-1)
Orlando headed to Chicago hoping to get their first ever points against the Red Stars, and controlled play for most of the match, but a defensive lapse by the Pride backline allowed Chicago to open the scoring in the first half. A second Red Stars goal in the second half made Orlando’s task much more difficult, but Alanna Kennedy struck in stoppage time to get her side on the board and give them a lifeline. In the end, it wasn’t enough, and the Pride went home with no points.
Next match: 8/5 vs Chicago at 7:30 PM EST.
8 (+1). Boston Breakers (3-7-5; lost to Houston 1-0)
Looking to extend their unbeaten run, Boston made a quick road trip to Houston and were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the first half after a shot by Adriana Leon bounced off the bar and down before being cleared. The Breakers were left to rue that miss when the Dash went ahead 10 minutes later, and despite their best efforts, were unable to find an equalizer on the day.
Next match: 8/4 vs Kansas City at 7 PM EST.
9 (+1). FC Kansas City (3-7-4; ppd)
Kansas City’s home match against North Carolina was postponed due to inclement weather.
Next match: 8/4 @ Boston at 7 PM EST.
10 (-2). Washington Spirit (3-8-3; lost to Portland 2-1)
Washington went to Portland in search of their first win in Portland, and after trading chances with the Thorns in the first half, the Spirit went ahead in the second half when Havana Solaun pounced on a missed clearance and tapped in at point blank range. But the celebrations would not last long, as Portland equalized four minutes later, then added a second late in regulation to keep Washington at the bottom of the standings.
Next match: 8/4 @ Sky Blue at 7 PM EST.