Week 16 in the NWSL kicked off with mid-week matches featuring a few of your favourite Aussies. Here’s how they did.
After a lengthy weather delay in Houston, the Dash took down Orlando Pride 3-1.
Dash midfielders Kyah Simon and Clare Polkinghorne helped lead the quick transitions, which kept Orlando off balance for most of the match.
While not involved directly in the scoring, Simon delivered a healthy shot on goal early in the match, which soared over the crossbar. She also came close to an assist at the start of the match when she hit a cross inside the box, missing her target by mere inches.
For the Pride, this loss snapped the team’s six-game road unbeaten streak. Alanna Kennedy played a more holding midfield position in this match, but was constantly challenged by the Dash’s quick counter attacks.
A usual starter, Emily van Egmond began the match on the bench, checking into the game at the 60th minute when her team was down by just one goal. In the end it was the Pride meeting the enemy and the enemy was themselves!
“It was a high-quality football game intermingled with passages of mistakes, lethargy and a lack of focus. It’s just very frustrating,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni after the match.
In an extremely physical match, the Seattle Reign prevailed in a 1-0 victory over visiting Utah Royals.
For most of the first half, Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams fought off Utah’s continued attack while battling the sun in her eyes.
In the second half, Williams had a slight misplay, causing the ball to roll toward her unattended goal. The Aussie keeper raced back alongside speedy Utah forward Amy Rodriguez, keeping up with her stride for stride and eventually causing the forward to shoot from a difficult angle, missing the frame and hitting the side netting.
The lone goal came in the 54th minute when Seattle won a corner kick and sent Steph Catley to the flag to take the service.
Catley delivered a perfectly-placed cross to the back post where Megan Rapinoe was waiting to head it in. Catley now leads the team in assists with three on the season.
Usually in the starting eleven, Utah defender Katrina Gorry began the match on the bench, coming in at the 77th minute.
Watch Catley’s perfectly-placed cross to Rapinoe for the goal:
In other news, Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr was voted NWSL Player of the Week for week 15.
With her hat trick against Sky Blue last week, Kerr broke a few of records. The league’s all-time leading goal scorer became the first NWSL player to score 50 goals; the first in the league to score three career hat tricks; and she leads the league in goals on the season with eight.
This is the sixth time in her career that Kerr has been honoured as the NWSL Player of the Week.
Week 16 matches continue this weekend with Orlando Pride traveling to meet the Utah; Sam Kerr and Chicago Red Stars welcome Seattle Reign; and Houston Dash visit the always-exciting Portland Thorns.