Sophia Smith scored her first career National Women’s Soccer League hat trick on Saturday to lead the Portland Thorns past the Kansas City Current, 4-1, in a rematch of last year’s NWSL Championship.
Elsewhere, the Houston Dash and OL Reign picked up road victories, and Racing Louisville scrapped its way back to a 2-2 draw against the Washington Spirit. The San Diego Wave also stayed hot to start the season, again at home.
Subscribe to The Equalizer to dive deeper into the best NWSL coverage out there. From Saturday, you can read the long version of what’s wrong with Kansas City right now. Stay tuned Monday for Jeff Kassouf’s weekly column, a must-read if you want to stay informed about the league.
Here’s the top line of what you missed during Week 2:
Sophia Smith does it all
Portland jumped out to an early lead through Crystal Dunn and then Smith, last year’s league MVP, took care of the rest. The Current looked like they would get back into the match after halftime, but Smith’s second goal (the Thorns’ third) was an exceptional individual effort.
Smith scored in the 18th, 83rd, and 88th minutes for her first hat trick as a professional.
The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf went long on the defensive issues that have plagued Kansas City so far this season.
Louisville rallies to draw Spirit
Smith has competition for goal of the week from Ary Borges, who smashed a volley into the upper 90 to help Racing Louisville secure a point at home.
It was a tale of two halves on Saturday, as Ashley Hatch put the Spirit ahead 2-0 with a first half brace. But Racing clawed back to take a share of the points, first with a pinpoint header from Abby Erceg just after halftime, and with Borges finishing the job after the hour mark.
History from Houston (in ice cold Chicago)
María Sánchez and Diana Ordóñez made NWSL history on Saturday, as the pair became the first Mexican players to score for the same team in an NWSL match.
Further, the trio of Sánchez, Ordóñez, and Ebony Salmon is a joy to watch – just not if you’re opposition defenders. The speed at which the three attacked Chicago’s goal for the first of the game was remarkable.
Fishlock is timeless & Farrelly is back
Jess Fishlock scored in the Reign’s 2-0 win over Gotham on Saturday to become the first player to score in all ten NWSL regular seasons. And the goal was a beauty, as the ball seemed to effortlessly skip from Sophia Huerta to Rose Lavelle to Fishlock for the fine finish. The Reign will ride the high of that result into their home opener next week, especially after starting the season with two away games on the east coast.
In other wonderful news, Sinead Farrelly made her debut for Gotham on Saturday, marking her first appearance in the league since 2015. Farrelly – alongside former teammate Mana Shim – courageously spoke out about alleged abuse and sexual coercion by former Thorns coach Paul Riley, which sparked wider abuse investigations in the league. After being away from the game for nearly eight years, Farrelly signed a one year contract with Gotham last week.
San Diego turns on the jets quickly
Don’t blink when San Diego has the ball.
On Saturday, the Wave’s first two goals in their 3-1 win over the Courage came from very quick build-ups. The first started all the way at the back with a long ball from keeper Kailen Sheridan, which was flicked on by Taylor Kornieck and buried by Jaedyn Shaw. Sheridan to Korneick to Shaw – to go from one end of the pitch to the other – took less than 10 seconds. And the Wave’s second told a similar story. Danielle Colaprico managed to intercept a Courage pass in the middle of the park, and delivered a through ball to Alex Morgan, who took a touch and buried it past Casey Murphy. Blink and you would have missed it!
Anna Moorhouse saves PK in Pride home opener
Call it poetic justice, or call it unlucky. Either way, Anna Moorhouse saved a penalty kick in the waning minutes of the Orlando Pride’s home opener against Angel City FC. Late in the game, a controversial handball was called on Pride defender Haley McCutcheon (neé Hanson), and Claire Emslie stepped up to the spot. Emslie already scored earlier in the match, and saw her kick saved by Moorhouse, the 28-year-old English goalkeeper.
Orlando and Angel City were close to splitting the points, with rookie Messiah Bright scoring the equalizer for Orlando in the 51st minute. However, Katie Johnson, 10 minutes into second-half stoppage time, scored the game-winning goal off a corner kick. Three points to Angel City FC.
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