Week 4 of NWSL action saw more goals than we’ve seen in a single weekend to date this season. Albeit some of those were own goals, we saw some first-class finishes as well. Let’s look at Fishlock’s first-minute finish, the Havana Soluan- Francisca Ordega combination that helped give the Spirit their win, and Allie Long’s late tying header.
Jess Fishlock first minute finish stuns Portland
What Happened: Sixty seconds had not yet passed before Jess Fishlock took things into her own hands and put the ball in the back of the net to give Seattle a 1-0 advantage in the first minute of a rivalry match that ended in a 2-2 draw. Fishlock’s goal was the fifth fastest goal in NWSL history.
How It Happened: What Jess Fishlock does here in purely spectacular. I think the first thing I have to point out is that it’s the first minute! Typically it takes a good 10-15 minutes for the game to really get rolling, but Fishlock wastes no time and capitalizes perfectly. It’s pure class how quickly she is able to win the ball back and then make something happen out of that. She intercepts the ball, and within seconds, it’s in the back of the net. Once she intercepts the ball off of Portland, she completely capitalizes on the little bit of space she has. By striking the ball that quickly, from 30 yards out, Fishlock successfully catches Portland off guard. Not to mention that her strike is a rocket to the top corner of the net.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 7, 2017
Solaun-Ordega combination is one for the books
What Happened: Midfielder Havana Solaun netted one for the Washington Spirit in the 34th minute in an eventual 4-3 victory over Sky Blue FC at the SoccerPlex on Saturday.
How It Happened: First and foremost, we have to talk about Francisca Ordega’s vision before she played the ball to Solaun. Just when she passes the half way line, she sees Solaun on the move to her right. She threads a perfect ball that not only splits two defenders on the Sky Blue back line, but also is perfectly weighted so that Solaun is able to catch up to it almost exactly in stride. Ordega’s ball in combination with the 24-year old Florida alum’s perfectly timed run (as to not be offsides), puts her in the best position to be in a breakaway scenario with Kailen Sheridan, the Sky Blue keeper. Solaun’s first touch is across her body which puts her in an even better position as she nears goal. Sheridan has no choice but to come off her line and try to cut down Solaun’s angle and cover the near post. Solaun reads this right away and opens up her body to slot the ball far post and into the back of the net. She was able to recognize Sheridan coming off her line and placed the ball in such a composed manner that ensured she locked in her first goal of the season.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 6, 2017
Allie Long header saves a point for the Thorns
What Happened: Allie Long put a header away in the 82nd minute off a Meghan Klingenberg ball to tie up the game at 2-2 against Seattle on Saturday night.
How It Happened: I think first we have to look at Hayley Raso’s run up the left side of the pitch. She receives the ball from Klingenberg with her back to goal. With one touch, she’s able to get the ball out from under her and into space down the lift sideline with a key bolt of speed that gives her distance ahead of the Seattle defender. She drives end line and is able to get the ball in the mixer by hitting a low ball on the ground. A Seattle defender is able to clear, but that clear ends up going right to Klingenberg. With perfect vision, Klingenberg doesn’t even need to take a touch before sending a ball right back into the box. When the ball comes out off the Seattle defender, Klingenberg already sees Allie Long in the middle of the box. She plays a beautiful, lofted ball one time to the top of the six where Long is waiting. Long uses her height to meet the ball first and head the ball on frame. Her heading technique here was really important. Reason being, she’s meets the ball from almost a standstill (as opposed to running onto the cross). So, she doesn’t get a ton of power on the ball. However, the lack of power is not a problem since the technique in how she heads it creates a chipped ball that goes right over Kopmeyer’s head and into the back of the net. Raso’s effort, Klingeberg’s precision, and Long’s technique all were major factors in making that goal possible.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 7, 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.