Week 3 of NWSL action saw some pretty spectacular finishes. Let’s take a look at Williams’ blast, Rose Lavelle’s first-ever professional goal, and a Raquel Rodriguez half-chance that secured a win.
2016 MVP and Golden Boot winner Lynn Williams scores first goal of 2017
What Happened: In the 70th minute, Lynn Williams makes it 3-1 as the North Carolina Courage secure their victory over the Orlando Pride to win their third straight. This is Williams’ first goal this season. She won the NWSL MVP and Golden Boot award last year as she led her team to a NWSL Championship with 14 goals and six assists on the year.
How It Happened: This goal started from an unfortunate break for Orlando as goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris misplayed a ground ball out of the back. It appears she was looking to hit one of her defenders, but the ball went in between two Courage players and Debinha was able to pick it up. With one touch immediately forward, Debinha was able to take advantage of her space ahead of Orlando defenders. She opened up her hips and whipped a ball in right to Williams who was standing just inside the top of the box. Debinha was able to see Williams before the cross left her foot due to the way she angled that first touch which gave her the added vision. Her ball then went almost right to Williams’ foot. Williams took the ball out of the air with an inside-of-the-foot touch which allowed her to keep it right in front of her body. After one bounce, Williams volleyed the ball right out of the air with her right foot after the ball was on its way back down to the pitch. Her first touch allowed her to get the ball under control and by striking the volley right after, there was no chance that a defender could block it. She had great form when she hit the ball. First off, she was able to keep the ball down as she kept her body over the ball. In addition to that, she was able to strike it across her body so that it went far post. Lastly, she hit it just right so that it curved out to Harris’ right and snuck right inside the post after hitting it. Harris had no chance.
— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) April 29, 2017
Lavelle nets her first pro goal as Boston stuns Seattle
What Happened: Rose Lavelle scored her first professional goal on Saturday against Seattle to give Boston a 2-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Boston ended up winning 3-0 and moved into second place ahead of Week 4.
How It Happened: An Adriana Leon through ball set the stage for Rose Lavelle to notch her first (of undoubtedly many more to come) professional goal. Leon sent the ball through to Lavelle who was already in motion about 10 yards ahead of her. Her ball was perfect–it split two defenders and allowed Lavelle to get in behind the back line. Lavelle’s run was also textbook. She came diagonally and threaded herself behind the defenders to get right on the end of Leon’s ball. The movement by Lavelle and the leading ball from Leon allowed Lavelle to pick up the ball with only the keeper to beat. Lavelle then executes a great finish as she takes only one touch before blasting the ball past Haley Kopmeyer.
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 29, 2017
Rodriguez capitalizes on set piece scrum to give Sky Blue FC the W
What Happened: In the 83rd minute, Raquel Rodriguez one-timed a finish off a corner kick aftermath to secure a 1-0 victory for Sky Blue FC in their home opener against FC Kansas City on Sunday night.
How It Happened: Kelley O’Hara lobbed a corner kick in that was heading towards the back post. The near post was crowded- so by going far post, O’Hara was able to open up some space inside the box. The ball dropped to rookie Mandy Freeman who attempted to keep the ball alive immediately by forcing what appeared to be a shot on goal–low and driven. Freeman’s ability to keep the ball alive was key here as she jumped on a half chance to try and put the ball back into the mix. Freeman attempted to take a shot on goal, but instead she hit Rodriguez right at the top of the six. Rodriguez’s impeccable offensive instinct can be seen perfectly here. She lunged forward and with one touch with her left foot, did all she could to get it on frame. Not only was it on frame, but it went right into the back of the net. They always say to do whatever you can to keep the ball alive and put something on frame when you’re that close to goal and Freeman and Rodriguez did just that. Rodriguez’s ability to finish it first time was essential. It allowed her to get a clean look at goal before any defender could close her and before the keeper could come off her line. Quick instincts from Freeman and Rodriguez secured this one for the ladies in light blue.
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 30, 2017
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.