Week 7 of the National Women’s Soccer League was marked by own goals, disallowed goals, and a television match held in intolerable conditions. But the week also gave us some pretty incredible goals, and we have the latest Power Rankings to recap the action.
1 (+2): Chicago Red Stars (4-2-1; def. North Carolina 3-1)
Chicago continued their turnaround from a slow start to the season with their second straight (and impressive!) win over North Carolina. Defensive brick wall Danielle Colaprico turned goal scorer to give the Red Stars the lead, while Alyssa Mautz and Vanessa DiBernardo added goals in the second half. And although a late strike from the Courage was enough to generate some nervousness in Red Stars fans, the home side ultimately held on for the victory.
Next match: 6/4 vs Seattle at 4 PM EST.
2 (+2): Portland Thorns FC (3-1-3; def. Boston 2-0)
Portland made a brief home stop for a second battle against Boston. This time, the Thorns took full advantage of their fortress, knocking down the Breakers with two goals in the first five minutes, and keeping their foot on the gas for the rest of the game. After several near-misses since joining Portland last season, Amandine Henry finally notched her first NWSL goal, and the Portland defense made easy work of the few attacks generated by the Breakers.
Next match: 6/3 @ Sky Blue at 7 PM EST.
3 (+3): Seattle Reign FC (3-1-3; def. Houston 0-2)
Looking to rebound from a disappointing home draw against Orlando, Seattle traveled to face Houston and came away with a familiar result in the series against the Dash. While the visitors were not at their high-flying best, largely thanks to the inferno-like heat on the day, Seattle rode a first half own goal and a second half tally from red hot rookie Katie Johnson to bring 3 big points back home.
Next match: 6/4 @ Chicago at 4 PM EST.
4 (-3): Boston Breakers (2-3-2; lost to Portland 2-0)
A harsh reality check was handed to the young Boston squad in Week 7 in the cauldron of Providence Park. The Breakers were put on their heels straight away after Julie King headed the ball into her own net in the first minute, followed by a second goal from Portland less than 5 minutes later. Boston never recovered from the quick setback, and slipped to a humbling defeat.
Next match: 6/3 @ Orlando at 7:30 PM EST.
5 (-): North Carolina Courage (5-3-0; def. Sky Blue 2-0, lost to Chicago 3-2)
Week 7 was a mixed bag for North Carolina. In the first midweek game of the season, the Courage welcomed their old punching bag Sky Blue to Cary with a dominating victory, and seemed to be back on track. But the rematch against Chicago did not go to plan. NC was dealt an early blow as Yuri Kawamura was taken out with injury, and although Debinha produced one of the goals of the season with a stunning free kick, the Courage were once again sent packing by the Red Stars.
Next match: 6/3 vs Kansas City at 4 PM EST.
6 (-4): Sky Blue FC (4-3-1; lost to North Carolina 2-0, def. Orlando 2-1)
Like their midweek opposition North Carolina, Sky Blue endured a week of mixed results. Christy Holly elected to rest several regulars against the Courage, and was punished for his decision with an underwhelming loss in Cary. But thanks to an outstanding performance in goal from Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue avoided a blowout against NC. Then, three days later, some late heroics from Maya Hayes were enough to steal 3 points at home against Orlando.
Next match: 6/3 vs Portland at 7 PM EST.
7 (-): FC Kansas City (3-2-2; def. Washington 3-2)
After six weeks of results grounded mostly in their superb defense, this week it was the offense’s turn to carry the day for Kansas City. A first half brace from Sydney Leroux erased an early Washington goal, and Becky Sauerbrunn headed home what looked to be an insurance goal in the second half. And although the Blues were soon after down to 10 players after Alexa Newfield was dismissed with a second yellow, the home side overcame a late rally from the Spirit to get the three points.
Next match: 6/3 @ North Carolina at 4 PM EST.
8 (-): Orlando Pride (1-3-3; lost to Sky Blue 2-1)
A string of positive results had Orlando coming into New Jersey on a high, and the Pride were set for another good day when Jasmyne Spencer gave her team the lead. But the head-scratching defensive lapses that have plagued Orlando all season returned, and goals conceded late in each half sent the Pride home empty-handed.
Next match: 6/3 vs Boston at 4 PM EST.
9 (+1): Washington Spirit (1-5-1; lost to Kansas City 3-2)
Washington headed to Kansas City searching for payback after a tough loss to the Blues at home, and an early goal from Kristie Mewis gave the Spirit hope. But three straight Kansas City goals put the Spirit in a hole from which they could not climb out, despite Havana Solaun pulling one back after KC was reduced to 10 players. It was an exciting game, with five goals scored and three more called off for various infractions.
Next match: 6/3 vs Houston at 7 PM EST.
10 (-1): Houston Dash (2-5-0; lost to Seattle 0-2)
Houston went into Week 7 hoping to avoid a 4th consecutive loss and regain some momentum. But on a sweltering hot afternoon, and against a Seattle team that had battered them earlier in the season, the task proved too difficult for the Dash. Houston fell behind when Cari Roccaro deflected a cross into her own goal in the first half, and conceded again in the second half to seal their fate.
The loss proved to be the end of a long and often difficult road for Houston coach Randy Waldrum, as he was let go by the organization two days later.
Next match: 6/3 @ Washington at 7 PM EST.