North Carolina Continues Dominant 2018 Run
The fifteenth week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage sits thirteen points clear of second place. The Orlando Pride edged the Washington Spirit in Florida, while Portland Thorns FC defeated Utah Royals FC in a convincing victory.
The Courage cruised past the Chicago Red Stars, 4-1, in a midweek matchup at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in North Carolina. The hosts were led by four goalscorers on the night to continue their dominant 2018 regular season run.
Portland Thorns FC hosted Utah Royals FC in a Friday night matchup to kick off the weekend. Portland topped the first-year club, 4-0, in front of 17,930 supporters at Providence Park. The Thorns were led by Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic who each recorded a goal and assist on the night. The hosts entered halftime with a 3-0 advantage, which was extended by Tyler Lussi during the 62nd minute. Despite maintaining 52.3% possession, the Utah Royals were unable to find the back of the net while having three shots on target.
Portland is currently in fifth place (6-5-5), while Utah Royals FC is in sixth (5-4-6).
Sky Blue FC fell to the Chicago Red Stars, 3-1, in the first Saturday matchup. The visitors were led by Sam Kerr who recorded a hat-trick versus her former club, while Yuki Nagasato recorded two assists. Kerr’s opening goal came in the 40th minute off a deflected shot from 18 yards out. Six minutes later Nagasato sent a ball over the backline to Kerr who collected the ball in the penalty area and finished low to the back post. Kerr’s final tally of the night came in the 63rd minute off a breakaway that she finished with ease. Imani Dorsey recorded Sky Blue’s lone goal of the match in the 73rd minute with Savannah McCaskill tallying the assist.
Sky Blue FC has yet to record a win (0-10-3), while the Red Stars are tied for third place (6-4-7).
The Orlando Pride edged the Washington Spirit, 2-1, in a comeback victory at Orlando City Stadium. The Spirit opened the scoring 26 minutes into the match when a corner kick from Whitney Church found Ashley Hatch for the header. Sydney Leroux equalized for Orlando in the closing moments of the first half, while Alanna Kennedy recorded the assist. Brazilian international Marta scored the game-winner in the 86th minute with an authoritative, individual effort in the penalty area. Orlando maintained 56.1% possession during the match and recorded 12 shots on target to Washington’s five.
Orlando Pride is tied for third place (7-5-4), while the Washington Spirit is in eighth (2-10-4).
Seattle Reign FC defeated the Houston Dash, 3-1, at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium in the final Week 15 matchup. A header from Amber Brooks put the visitors on the scoreboard in the 12th minute. Seattle equalized in the 37th minute when a quick throw-in from Megan Rapinoe found Jodie Taylor who chipped the Houston goalkeeper that was caught off her line. Rapinoe converted from the penalty spot in the 56th minute to give Seattle the lead. The Reign shut the door on Houston in the 86h minute when Rapinoe chipped the back line and found Allie Long for the easy finish.
Seattle is currently in second place (6-3-5), while the Houston Dash is in seventh (4-6-5).
Photo Credit: ISI Photos