North Carolina Courage Sits Atop NWSL Table
The second week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage remains the lone undefeated NWSL club. Portland Thorns defeated the Chicago Red Stars in a five-goal thriller, while Washington edged Orlando at Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland SoccerPlex. The NWSL heads into international break with matches returning the second week of April.
The Houston Dash and Utah Royals FC played out a scoreless draw to open the weekend on Friday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. Utah recorded six goals on target while maintaining 65% of possession; however, the first-year club was unable to find the back of the net. Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell tallied five saves on the night to record one point for the hosts.
Utah Royals FC and the Houston Dash both recorded their second tie with two weeks in the books of the 2018 NWSL campaign. Utah hosts the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 14, while Houston has a bye during Week 3.
North Carolina Courage edged Sky Blue FC, 1-0, with a late winner by Jessica McDonald at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Jaelene Hinkle played a through ball behind the defense to McDonald who dribbled around the goalkeeper for the easy finish. North Carolina is the only undefeated team after two weekends, while the loss was Sky Blue FC’s opening match of the season.
The North Carolina Courage now travel to Maryland to take on the Washington Spirit on Saturday, April 14, while Sky Blue FC hosts Seattle Reign FC on Sunday.
The Washington Spirit topped the Orlando Pride, 2-0, with second-year Ashley Hatch recording a goal and assist in the home victory. The first tally came in the 80th minute when Hatch headed the ball to Mallory Pugh near midfield. Pugh dribbled the ball down the field into the penalty area and struck a shot that went through the legs of the Orlando goalkeeper. Hatch’s goal came in the 88th minute after striking home a rebound in the penalty area.
Washington has one win and a loss on the season, while Orlando has recorded a loss and tie. Orlando travels to Portland to take on the Thorns on Sunday, April 15th.
The Chicago Red Stars fell to Portland Thorns FC, 2-3, in the final matchup of the weekend. Christine Sinclair recorded two goals on the night for Portland with teammate Lindsey Horan tallying the match opener. Sofia Huerta recorded two assists for Chicago, but her effort wasn’t enough to edge the 2017 NWSL Champions.
Portland has recorded one win and a loss in 2018, while Chicago lost and tied during the opening weeks.
Photo Credit: NWSL