There were plenty of Aussies on the pitch at Providence Park, as Orlando Pride upset Portland Thorns 2-1. Defender Ellie Carpenter made her first start of the season.

Unfazed by the 17,155 fans in attendance, Carpenter looked right at home, flying down the flank and getting involved in almost every offensive play. The young Aussie is already creating chemistry with Portland attackers Lindsay Horan, Christine Sinclair and especially with rookie Midge Purce.

The Portland fans were also treated to a few of Carpenter’s exceptionally long throw-ins.

Still on the injury list for Portland: Caitlin Foord who is recovering from foot surgery and Hayley Raso with a strained left knee.

Alanna Kennedy continues to run the Pride midfield, helping the team get their first ever win against Thorns. Kennedy helped jump start the scoring when she sent a well-placed ball to Kristen Edmonds on the run, resulting in an Alex Morgan goal.

In a physical match riddled by warnings and yellow cards, Kennedy stayed cool amongst the chaos, rallying her team to keep their heads in the game.

Having played three matches in eight days, Pride coach Tom Sermanni changed his lineup to rest players, which is probably why Emily van Egmond started on the bench. Subbing in for a defensive player in the 64th minute, van Egmond quickly moved up to her higher position into the midfield, next to Kennedy.

Playing in the six spot, van Egmond took charge on the left side, pushing the attack from the back and helping to keep Portland off the scoreboard in the second half.

In frigid Chicago conditions, Kyah Simon and the Houston Dash drew 2-2 with Sam Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night.

Simon assisted on both Dash goals, the first when she found Rachel Daly in open space. Simon is finding great chemistry with both Daly and midfielder Kristie Mewis, reading her teammates’ moves to perfection.

After halftime, Simon flicked the ball through to Mewis at the edge of the box, resulting in the Dash’s second goal.

On the Chicago side, Kerr netted her second goal after a pass from the Dash goalkeeper saw Arin Gilliland steal the ball inside the box and make a short pass to an unmarked Kerr.

In Seattle, Steph Catley is making a name for herself as the consummate playmaker. Early in Seattle Reign  4-1 win over Sky Blue FC, a wide-open Catley blazed down the left sideline with the ball at her feet and delivered a perfect service into the box, where Jodie Taylor rose up and headed in the goal.

Catley served the ball into the box all night, continually placing the ball perfectly at the feet of Megan Rapinoe. On one such play, Catley’s service was deflected to Rapinoe’s right foot, resulting in Seattle’s second goal of the match.

This match also featured the debut of Lydia Williams and while unchallenged for most of the match, Williams did survive a Carli Lloyd free kick from 25 out.

Sky Blue lone goal came by way of a Savannah McCaskill lofty kick over Williams’ head. In the end, Williams made four saves and ended her debut with a beautifully athletic save in the 88th minute to hold Sky Blue FC to just one goal.

Utah Royals FC had a bye on the weekend.

Toppserien (Norway)

Tameka Butt played a full game for Klepp IL but the team lost 1-0 against IL Sandviken. Her side sits third on the Toppserien ladder, one spot above Mackenzie Arnold’s Arna-Bjørnar. The Aussie goalkeeper played the full 90 as her side defeated Trondheims-Ørn 6-2.

Damallsvenskan (Sweden)

Elise Kellond-Knight and Aivi Luik had the weekend off as the Damallsvenskan paused for the Women’s Swedish Cup final. 

NPL Women (Australia)

In NPL Victoria, Laura Alleway found herself on the scoresheet twice. The centre back was able to score off two corners in Galaxy United’s 3-0 win over FC Alamein.

Lisa De Vanna registered her first minutes for the season, coming on as a 46th minute substitute for South Melbourne. Her teammates were full of praise for the striker, noting the presence she has both on the field and during training.

In NPL NSW, the Northern Tigers were missing both Michelle Heyman, to a knee complaint, and Eliza Campbell to illness. The team went down 2-0 to top of the table Manly United.

Casey Dumont donned the gloves for the North Shore Mariners but conceded four as the team lost 4-1 to Sydney University. While Chloe Logarzo’s Blacktown Spartans were 3-0 winners over Bankstown City. 

Caitlin Cooper played a full game in the Illawarra Stingray’s 3-0 win over NWS Koalas. Earlier in the week, coach Carmelina Moscato told the Illawarra Mercury that Cooper “has solidified everything”.

“She has come back from national team duty sharp and hungry” said Moscato with that hunger and intensity becoming infectious.