After matches were postponed last weekend, the National Women’s Soccer League returned on Wednesday. In all three matches, players stopped play at the six-minute mark and gathered in the center of the field. Following The Athletic’s detailed investigative report released on Thursday about Paul Riley’s alleged sexual coercion of former players, current players linked arms as a sign of solidarity and to represent the six years it took for the voices of Meleana “Mana” Shim and Sinead Farrelly to be heard.
Portland Thorns 2, Houston Dash 3
Houston picked up a huge three points against the Thorns tonight, defeating them in Portland for the first time since 2015. But it was not an easy win, rather a back and forth goal fest. The Dash started off the game on the front foot, affecting the Thorns with their relentless high pressure. It paid off eighteen minutes in when Houston were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box, which Rachel Daly converted. Less than five minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead, capitalizing on a recycled set piece connection between Haley Hanson and Kristie Mewis.
After thirty minutes played, Christine Sinclair pulled one back for her team, finishing Lindsey Horan’s terrifically placed cross. The Thorns went into halftime still down a goal, but with the momentum in their favor.
Portland came out firing in the second half, equalizing at two a piece when Horan, with her second assist of the night, threaded the needle for Sophia Smith who finished smartly.
Even though Portland was creating tons of chances and had the momentum, it would be Daly to score a game winner. With just over ten minutes left to play, Sophie Schmidt played the ball in to the box, recycling a failed set piece again, where Daly rose above everyone to head it past Bella Bixby. Bixby got a hand to it but Daly had generated enough power to score the game winner. The rest of the game, Houston managed to defend their lead, and will travel home with all three points.
- Houston Dash — Rachel Daly, 18′
- Houston Dash — Kristie Mewis (Haley Hanson), 23′
- Portland Thorns — Christine Sinclair (Lindsey Horan), 30′
- Portland Throns — Sophia Smith (Lindsey Horan), 57′
- Houston Dash — Rachel Daly, 79′
— Bella Munson
NJNY Gotham FC 0, Washington Spirit 0
NJ/NY Gotham FC and the Washington Spirit played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday in Subaru Park, in Chester, Pa. Gotham moved their home match to the greater Philadelphia area as a sendoff game for Carli Lloyd, who is retiring at the end of the season.
North Carolina Courage 3, Racing Louisville 1
The Skinny: Four first half goals told the tale of Louisville’s visit to North Carolina on Wednesday night. Lynn Williams opened the scoring early off when she knocked in a rebound given up by Louisville keeper Katie Lund. Amy Rodriguez added a second shortly after, when a beautiful through ball from Jessica McDonald found her en route to goal.
Louisville’s Savannah McCaskill pulled one back for the visitors just five minutes later, a rocket of a shot from the edge of the area. But the Courage extended their lead once again at the half hour mark, when Debinha picked up an errant clearance in the box and smashed it home.
One Key Moment: Just minutes after Louisville equalized, some beautiful combination play between McDonald and Rodriguez on North Carolina’s second goal restored their lead. That’s a sloppy giveaway for Louisville to concede in the middle of the park too.
Inside the Game: It was a dominant first half performance for the Courage, who scored early and often. With the win, the Courage sit in third place with 32 points, while Louisville occupy the other end of the table, in ninth place with 17 points.
- North Carolina — Lynn Williams, 14′
- North Carolina — Amy Rodriguez (Jessica McDonald), 19′
- Louisville — Savannah McCaskill, 24′
- North Carolina — Debinha, 30′
— Emily Dulhanty
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