The Kronick Report: Rapinoe rockets her 17th Reign goal

Hannah Kronick April 25, 2017 15

In week 2 of NWSL action, let’s take a look at a stellar volley, an inside-the-six header, and a perfect midfield-forward combination all resulting in back of the net finishes.

Megan Rapinoe nets a rocket with first-time volley finish

Megan Rapinoe gets on the scoreboard in the 27th minute as Seattle beat Houston 5-1 on Saturday night. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe gets on the scoreboard in the 27th minute as Seattle beat Houston 5-1 on Saturday night. (Photo Copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

What Happened: In the 27th minute, Megan Rapinoe locked in goal number two for the Reign in their 5-1 rout of Houston on Saturday night. Jess Fishlock launched a ball to Rapinoe out on the left side and Rapinoe needed only one touch to fire a volley into the back of the net.
How It Happen: Fishlock got the play started by launching a fantastic long ball to Rapinoe, streaking down the left wing. Rapinoe was ahead of the play- meaning she was proactively making a run into space before the ball left Fishlock’s foot. The ball, played into the right position for Rapinoe to run on, took one bounce before Rapinoe rocketed a volley into the back of the net. Rapinoe’s ability to take the ball off the bounce and then put it on net first time was key here. Although she had her defender Poliana  beat with her run, the bounce gave the defender time to catch up. If instead Rapinoe decided to take a touch to control the ball, there’s a chance the defender would’ve had time to slow her down and cut off her angle. By hitting it first time, Rapinoe capitalized on the tiny bit of space she still had in front of Poliana. She had good composure on the ball and patiently waited to get in the right spot instead of rushing as the defender closed. Then, she rocketed her shot with her left foot. She landed on her shooting foot too, striking through the ball to ensure she hit it hard and kept it low. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell had no chance.

Debinha executes textbook header off McDonald cross

Debinha, doing her thing for the Courage in their home opener (photo copyright Lewis Gettier)

Debinha, doing her thing for the Courage in their home opener (photo copyright Lewis Gettier)

What Happened: Off a Jess McDonald cross, Debinha uses her head to net her first-ever NWSL goal as the Courage defeat the Portland Thorns in their home opener.

How It Happened: A lot of credit for this goal has to go to Jess McDonald. As she receives a great one time through ball from the midfield, her awareness on the ball allows her to recognize that none of her teammates are in the area. She slows down, before taking the ball end line and whipping in a strong cross. The pace on the ball keeps Portland keeper Adrianna Franch on her line, unable to come off and claim it. Debinha’s run inside the box on the opposite side starts while all eyes are on McDonald. She times her run perfectly so that she’s at full speed inside the six right when the ball comes from McDonald.

“I was trying to serve Lynn Williams but Emily Menges their center back cut that pass off from me,” McDonald told The Equalizer. “So I had no choice to play the ball that I did to Debinha. She times it really well.”

The late run from Debinha into in the box is really dangerous because not only does she have the momentum, but she also came in unmarked. She then uses this momentum to blast the header into the back of the net.

Lavelle-Dowie combination gives Boston first win since last August

The Boston Breakers celebrate Natasha Dowie's first half strike against Sky Blue FC. (LINEHAN PHOTOGRAPHY/Equalizer Soccer)

The Boston Breakers celebrate Natasha Dowie’s first half strike against Sky Blue FC. (LINEHAN PHOTOGRAPHY/Equalizer Soccer)

What Happened: In the 37th minute, a Natasha Dowie strike from a Rose Lavelle pass put the Breakers ahead of Sky Blue which went on to be the only goal necessary in securing their first win of the season and their first win since August of last year.
How It Happened: Lavelle starts what turns out to be a 30-yard run just behind the halfway line before slotting the ball through to Dowie. Lavelle drives towards the center, attracting the attention of both Sky Blue center backs. With one pass, Lavelle beats the entire Sky Blue back line and finds Dowie 25 yards from goal. Dowie, with a clear line to goal, takes a few touches before rocketing a shot into the back of the net, before any of the Sky Blue defenders can close on her. While Lavelle is dribbling through the middle of the field, Dowie recognizes this and starts making her run on the outside. Lavelle’s vision to spot the run with the ball at her feet sets Dowie up nicely to send a rocket from 18 yards out past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheriden, the rookie from Clemson.

Every week throughout the NWSL season, the Kronick Report will break down three important goals from the week in a tactical and technical analysis of the art of goal-scoring.

  • Ethan

    Despite her inconsistencies over the course of her career, Rapinoe’s always produced quality finishes/shots. Her goal against Angerer in that 3-3 friendly draw remains one of my all-time favorite finishes in women’s football.

    • Steglitz49

      Homare Sawa’s back/side-heel caps them all. Not even Zlatan could have been more audacious.

      But. Was Homare’s a finish? Ask the Finns.

  • guest

    I’m going to laugh so hard at PRESS OBSESSED woso “journalists” when Pinoe wins the golden boot this year… I have a feeling she lost her USSF contract if the rumors are true. She’s going to have one of those spitefully productive Crystal Dunn circa 2015 seasons for her club.

    • Ethan

      If goals didn’t get two points, Rapinoe would always be in the discussion of player with the most points. However, I don’t think she’ll be in the running for the golden boot.

      • Steglitz49

        There ought to be a Goalscoring Queen award and a Goalgiving Pass award because they are not the same and they therefore should recognised as such.

    • guest

      what uswnt rumors are you hearing?

    • guest123

      speaking of Press OBsessed, what happened to that nyRick character?

      • guest

        I think he was personally offended by Rapinoe kneeling. Something about it relating to the suppression of the white man in america, or something….

  • Terry Lash

    Historically, Rapinoe has been inconsistent for the WNT. As many have remarked, there is the “good Rapinoe” and the “bad Rapinoe” in terms of the quality and decision making in taking shots on goal and passing. But given her age and the dismal situation in Brazil, as well as her behavior over kneeling during the national anthem contrary to JE’s wishes, having hr dropped from the WNT would not be a surprise. Looking forward to the next WC, she is not needed or probably wanted. Fine by me.

  • Jacky

    Loving the Kronick Report!!!

  • VaFan51

    On the Debinha goal for the Courage, some recognition should go to McCall Zerboni for the great one-touch pass to release McDonald.

    • Steglitz49

      Verily and forsooth.

  • Guest

    Wow, a whole section on one player who scored a goal. Must be a big Rapinoe fan. No mention or questions about why she no longer cares about the cause that was so important last season she was compelled to take a knee during the National Anthem to get everyone’s attention and rescue the day. Her team and owner supported her spectacle, why isn’t she at least fighting for the cause and getting it the attention it needs. I’d also like to know what she’s done to make a difference outside of taking a know for that cause, although I think I probably can guess.

  • Guest

    I just find it funny how there are still people who are still pressed about Rapinoe kneeling.

    • guest

      you kneel once….you kneel forever. keep kneeling rapinoe!!!