Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit Remain Atop the NWSL Table
Week 15 of the 2016 NWSL season comes to a close with the Portland Thorns FC and Washington Spirit remaining atop the leaderboard. The NWSL heads into a break as the Summer Olympics in Rio kick off this week
NWSL Soccer News: Portland Thorns FC and the Washington Spirit conclude Week 15 of the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season atop the leaderboard as players across the league were unavailable for the weekend after arriving in Rio to prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Boston Breakers closed out the weekend with a stunning 1-0 win over Orlando Pride in the club’s first win since May — and the Breakers beat Pride in front of a sold out crowd of 4,379. Natasha Dowie put the Breakers on the scoreboard in the 10th minute off a bad pass from Orlando to the backline. Dowie pounced on her opportunity putting the ball past goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage to give the home side the early lead.
“I just wanted to help the team get the win. I’ve been watching every game, and they’ve been so close. So for me, first and foremost, I wanted to work hard and help the team win. To get a goal, even better,” Dowie said. “I’m so excited to be involved with the Boston Breakers. I feel privileged to be honest. I’m absolutely buzzing to get three points for the girls.”
Heading into the Olympic break with a win is just what Boston Breakers head coach Matt Beard was looking for. “I’m pleased we got the clean sheet and got another three points,” he said. “It means we can go into this break with a positive frame of mind. We’ve got to play Houston twice, so we can still catch them. We’ve got Western New York here twice, and then we’ve got Portland and Kansas away, so there are still plenty of points for us to play for and pick up.”
Notes: Natasha Dowie scored her first NWSL goal and it came on her debut … Jami Kranich recorded the third shutout of her professional career (first this season) … The Breakers snapped a five-game losing streak and seven-game unbeaten streak with tonight’s win … The shutout was Boston’s second of the season. The first came at home on May 22, 2016, a 1-0 win over FC Kansas City.
Orlando fall for their third straight match as the expansion side now sits in seventh place. The Pride tried to equalize in the 22nd minute, however Kaylyn Kyle’s goal was called back due to offside.
“Despite giving up the early goal, I thought we came on fairly strong in the first half; we scored a goal that was offside, hit the post [on another] and had another good chance. So, we were still in the game,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “Then, the second half was a real battle. It was a real scrap. It was one of those games where a team is desperately trying to hold onto a lead and we’re trying to break them down. We probably just didn’t have enough quality on the day to create chances that we should have created given our field position.”
Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her fifth shutout of the season as she remains atop the NWSL standings with three other keepers.
Houston Dash and Western New York Flash played out a six-goal thriller at BBVA Compass Stadium. Rookie Rachel Daly recorded her fourth goal of the season – assisted by Denise O’Sullivan, while Kealia Ohai’s brain the 47th minute — assisted by Becca Moros –put Houston on top 3-1 with twenty minutes left of play.
WNY’s Lynn Williams tallied her eighth goal of the season along with two assists. Jessica McDonald’s assist to Williams in the final two minutes of stoppage time brought the score level as the forward continues to lead the league in assists with a total of seven on the season.
The Portland Thorns topped Seattle Reign FC 1-0 at Providence Park to remain in the hunt for the first spot. Mana Shim sent in a ball from 40 yards out to Nadia Nadim who put in a header past Seattle goalkeeper Michelle Betos.
Washington Spirit continued their stellar 2016 streak on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Sky Blue FC. Estefania Banini opened up scoring for Washington in the 27th minute with the assist credited to Joanna Lohman. Sky Blye’s Tasha Kai brought the score level in the 33rd minute with Cheyna Williams putting the Spirit back on top six minutes later.
Alyssa Kleiner brought Washington’s tally to three as the Spirit remain tied in points at the top of the NWSL table with Portland.
The NWSL heads into an international break for a month as the Summer Olympics kick off in Rio.
SoccerToday wishes our U.S. Women’s National Team the best of luck as they look to bring home a fourth straight gold medal!
Editorial Note: Statistics updated on August 2nd.