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NWSL Sunday: Kerr returns with a hat trick

Orlando Pride 2, Chicago Red Stars 3

More internationals returned to the NWSL on Sunday and left their mark, as Sam Kerr, Marta, and Camila all played their first game after the World Cup and all were involved in goals.

Kerr wasted no time in picking up where she left off, and she ended the Red Stars’ four-game scoring streak in the seventh minute when she pounced on a soft back pass and rounded Haley Kopmeyer to open scoring.

However, in the 22nd minute, Chioma Ubogagu paid the favor right back. Emily Boyd took a heavy touch inside Chicago’s box, and Ubogagu was there to secure the loose ball and equalize.

Not to be outdone, Kerr doubled her tally in first-half stoppage time. Yuki Nagasato got her head on the end of a goal kick and launched it forward for Kerr, who outran the Pride backline and finished in the back of the net.

In the second half, as Orlando continued to struggle to maintain possession, it started off as more of the same. In the 55th minute, Kerr received the ball from Michelle Vasconcelos after Orlando turned it over in midfield. She turned, outran the Pride backline, and launched the ball past Kopmeyer for her third of the night.

Things took an interesting turn in the 78th minute when Camila was tripped up in the box by Casey Short and Brooke Elby, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Marta stepped up and buried the penalty kick, moving Orlando to within one.

From there it was nearly all Orlando as they threw numbers forward, searching for an equalizer. But it wasn’t meant to be. Orlando (1-8-2) remains in eighth place and hosts Washington next Saturday. Chicago (4-4-2) moves up to sixth and hosts Sky Blue that same day.

Goal Summary

  1. Chicago Red Stars (Sam Kerr, 7’)
  2. Orlando Pride (Chioma Ubogagu, 22’)
  3. Chicago Red Stars (Sam Kerr, 45+2’)
  4. Chicago Red Stars (Sam Kerr, 55’)
  5. Orlando Pride (Marta, 79’)

– Chelsey Bush


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