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NWSL Week 3 Review: Late drama from East to West

Photo: OL Reign / Jane Gershovich

Week three’s National Women’s Soccer League matches did not disappoint, with tons of late drama on tap in the league’s return from the international break.

Late goals abound

Late goals were the name of the game on Saturday night.

The chaos started on the East Coast. With the Pride’s matchup against visiting Gotham at a goalless stalemate after 90′, it looked like the points were to be shared. But late in stoppage time, Gotham were awarded a penalty kick, which Midge Purce confidently stepped up to bury from the spot. And Gotham weren’t done there. At the 90’+17′ mark, Lynn Williams put the cherry on top with a wide-angled shot to beat keeper Kaylie Collins. Yes, you read that right – Williams’ goal came at the 106:45 mark in the match, due to an extensive stoppage time period. Both Purce and Williams’ goals were the two latest regular season goals in league history.

The excitement continued throughout the night, as when the clock struck midnight on the East Coast all hell broke loose in the West.

Racing Louisville put themselves up by two, courtesy of first-half goals by Savannah DeMelo and Kirsten Davis. But Angel City roared back to life in the second 45′. Katie Johnson pulled one back for the hosts after the hour mark, with a flick off of a Savannah McCaskill free kick, and then in the 87th minute, McCaskill scored the equalizer herself with a perfectly timed half-volley.

And up the coast in Seattle, late drama was in store in a tight contest between OL Reign and the San Diego Wave. Keepers Phallon Tullis-Joyce and Kailen Sheridan put on a show, making three and four saves respectively throughout 90 minutes. But Reign midfielder Olivia Van der Jagt delivered a dagger to the Wave in the fifth minute of stoppage time, with a shot that looped over a diving Sheridan. What an occasion for Van der Jagt’s first NWSL regular season goal.

Louisville is still searching for a complete performance

Racing Louisville have now earned a draw in their opening three matches. It’s certainly not a bad start for a team who finished ninth last season, but the team is yet to put together a solid performance through 90 minutes. This weekend, it was a two goals scored first half and two conceded second half, while last week it was the opposite.

Kansas City’s blues continue

The Current conceded four goals to the Red Stars on Saturday, a match that was riddled with rough defending by the visitors. A missed clearance on Chicago’s first goal, a rough turnover leading to an own goal for the third, and a simple through ball that sliced through the Current defenders for the fourth were the worst of the blunders.

Through three matches, the Current have conceded the most goals in the league (9).

Broadcast issues are still plaguing the league in year 11

Trinity Rodman opened the scoring in the Spirit’s 2-1 win over the Courage on Saturday, but unless you were sitting in your seat at WakeMed Soccer Park, you didn’t see it live (note the “Stream coming soon” line in the league’s tweet below).

Stream issues plagued the league this weekend. It took over 30 minutes for the Spirit-Courage and Pride-Gotham Paramount+ streams to produce video of the ongoing matches. Adding to that a glitchy CBSSN broadcast on Friday night for the Thorns’ 1-1 draw with the Dash made for a rough weekend for NWSL viewers. Of course, technical issues are not entirely avoidable in our world today, but for them to afflict three of six matches in one weekend is unacceptable. It is year eleven now – here’s to hoping the league and its broadcast partners can finally figure out these technical issues moving forward.

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