North Carolina Continues Unbeaten Steak
The eighth week of the 2018 season concludes as North Carolina Courage remains the lone unbeaten NWSL club. Portland Thorns FC defeated the Washington Spirit, while the Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC played out a scoreless draw.
Utah Royals FC edged the Houston Dash, 1-0, in the first Saturday matchup at Rio Tinto Stadium. In the 37th minute, Utah was awarded a contested penalty after forward Amy Rodriguez was slightly pushed from behind by Houston defender Amber Brooks. Diana Matheson stepped up to give the hosts the lead, but a save by Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell kept the match level. Erika Tymrak scored the game-winner for Utah in the 51st minute with Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir recording the assist. Houston was unable to record a shot on target, while Utah notched five and maintained 63.6% possession.
Utah Royals FC is in sixth place (2/W-1/L-5/T), while Houston is currently in seventh (1-4-4).
The Washington Spirit fell to Portland Thorns FC, 1-0, in front of 3,284 supporters at Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland SoccerPlex in Maryland. Ellie Carpenter scored the lone goal of the match in the 68th minute with Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic tallying the assist. A pass on the ground to the back post found Carpenter crashing in and finishing with authority to give Portland the advantage on the road. Washington recorded four shots on target and maintained 50.7% possession, but the hosts were unable to convert.
Portland Thorns FC is tied for third place (3-3-3), while the Washington Spirit is in eighth (1-5-2).
The North Carolina Courage extended its unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory over Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field in New Jersey. Crystal Dunn put North Carolina on the scoreboard in the 16th minute, finishing a low cross to the back post from Jessica McDonald. Samantha Mewis pounced on an uncleared ball near the goal line to extend the Courage’s lead nine minutes later. Carli Lloyd scored the lone goal for Sky Blue in the fourth minute of stoppage time during the second half. The U.S. Women’s National Team captain blasted a right-footed shot into the top right corner following a scripted play off a free kick. The initial pass to Sarah Killion was redirected into the path of Lloyd who ran onto the ball and finished with authority.
North Carolina claims the top spot (7-0-2), while Sky Blue FC has yet to record a win (0-5-1).
Seattle Reign FC and the Chicago Red Stars played out a scoreless draw at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium in Washington. In the 42nd minute, Chicago midfielder Danielle Colaprico sent a corner to the far post that was headed back across goal to Arin Gilliland. Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams saved the initial header attempt by Gilliland as well as the shot off the rebound by Samantha Johnson. Megan Rapinoe nearly put Seattle on the scoreboard with a lone effort in the 68th minute. Rapinoe collected a ball on the left flank, dribbled to the top of the 18-yard box and hit a strike that was tipped over the crossbar by Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The match concluded a draw with each club recording four shots on target.
Seattle sits in second place (4-1-2), while the Red Stars are tied for third place (2-2-6).
Photo Credit: ISI Photos