This week, we saw multiple goals that were fit for the highlight reel. My two favorites: one from a veteran in Becky Sauerbrunn and one from a newbie in Katie Johnson. Let’s dive into the technique used by both players and unravel how they both came into consideration for GOTW.
Becky Sauerbrunn locks in GOTW with a stunning header
What Happened: In the 60th minute, FC Kansas City and USWNT defender Becky Sauerbrunn finished a corner kick with her head to secure a 3-2 victory for FCKC over the Washington Spirit on Saturday.
How It Happened: This goal was a perfectly executed header by one of the (if not the) best defenders in the world. Although the header by Sauerbrunn was stunning, we definitely can’t ignore the ball that was played into the box from Alexa Newfield and set up her finish. The ball that Newfield played was strategically placed in a spot that ended up giving Sauerbrunn the edge at getting there first. It’s far post and in between the six and the top of the 18. It’s far enough out that the keeper is not able to grab it, yet not too far out towards the top of the 18 that it goes over everyone’s head. Then, true Sauerbrunn brilliance kicks in. She leaps for the header like a true defender would, raises above the Spirit defender and attacks the ball head on. Her technique keeps it on target with tons of force. She places the ball far post too, which is instrumental in catching Spirit keeper Stephanie Labbe off balance and unable to even make a reaction dive. All that will definitely be enough to win NWSL Goal of the Week! Well deserved at that.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 30, 2017
Rookie Katie Johnson executes spin move to finish for the Reign
What Happened: Katie Johnson doubles the lead for the Seattle Reign this weekend as she gets herself on the score sheet in the 63rd minute to help the Reign lock in an eventual 2-0 defeat over the Houston Dash in Houston.
How It Happened: My favorite part about this goal is the execution Johnson employs to turn her defender and finish one into the back of the net. But, let’s back up first and analyze how the ball even gets to Johnson in the first place. Naho Kawasumi first gets a ball on the right side of the 18 yard box, almost exactly at the corner. She picks her head up right away and cuts inside where she sees Johnson on the move and in the process of isolating herself 1v1 with the defender. Naho’s quick vision to attack immediately and slot a ball inside to Johnson is instrumental because it works perfectly with Johnson’s run and positioning, allowing her to be isolated with only one defender to beat with her back to goal. The decision making on Johnson’s part is pure class, especially for a rookie. She knows exactly what she’s going to do before the ball hits her foot. You can see her feel the defender on her left side, so with one touch she’s able to shift her weight, with a spin move, and go the other way, leaving her defender completely beat and off balance. The turn sets up her left foot right in front of goal and she’s able to bury it past Dash keeper Lydia Williams.
— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) May 28, 2017
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