The NWSL regular season is winding down, which means there are plenty of playoff scenarios coming into play. Here’s how the Aussies did in week 20 to help their teams in a push to the playoffs:
Katrina Gorry and the Utah Royals played two matches in the week. The first resulted in a 1-0 win over Washington Spirit. Gorry didn’t play at all in that match, but she did start the second match against visiting Seattle Reign, as Utah suffered a 0-1 loss.
In a critical play, Gorry took a shot just outside of the box. Aiming for Christen Press’ head, Mini’s ball was high by a few inches, dropping over Press and out of play.
In the few times she was challenged, Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams came up big. Making her first save of the match in the 43rd minute, Williams smothered a Christen Press shot on goal.
In the 60th minute, Diana Matheson caught Williams off her line and headed the ball towards goal, but Williams quickly scampered back to mid-goal and made the save.
Steph Catley is on a continued excused absence from the team. Meanwhile, Seattle sits in second place in a very tight NWSL ladder.
Watch Williams’ save on Christen Press attempt:
There were plenty of Matildas on the pitch as Portland Thorns met at the Orlando Pride. Both teams are running for a playoff spot and it showed in the first half as both teams played high-intensity football.
The second half however, was a different story for Orlando. Goal scoring opportunities alluded Hayley Raso all match, until the 53rd minute when the Portland striker took the ball into the box (with Alanna Kennedy on her back), and finished with a world-class strike for Portland’s second goal on the day.
Ellie Carpenter started on the back line and subbed out in the 73rd minute. Forward Caitlin Foord is coming back slowly, subbing in at the 55th minute.
Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni continues to experiment with a three-back defence featuring Kennedy in the center back role. Emily van Egmond started in midfield. Both Kennedy and van Egmond played the full 90 minutes. However, Orlando’s inconsistencies were too great to overcome a strong Portland side, who came away with the 0-2 victory.
Said van Egmond after the match – “I thought we started the first half reasonably well, and then obviously the second half we came out a completely different team, and we’re all held accountable for that. We’ll go back to the training field this week and regroup and focus on the next game that lies ahead.”
So many Aussies… watch the Orlando vs Portland highlights:
Houston Dash edged out a 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC. Midfielder Clare Polkinghorne set the tempo for a re-energized Houston team who are still gunning for a place in the NWSL playoffs. Houston striker Kyah Simon did not play due to a left ankle sprain.
Don’t count the Chicago Red Stars out of the playoff picture – not as long as they have Sam Kerr! Chicago came away with one point in their 1-1 draw against the ladder-leading North Carolina courage.
Down 0-1 in the 63rd minute, Vanessa DiBernardo blistered a left footed cross into the box. Despite being surrounded by defenders, Kerr got her head on the ball to score the equalizer. Kerr now has 10 goals on the season.
Watch Kerr’s goal:
The connection lives on. pic.twitter.com/puc2qN9DNE— Chicago Red Stars (@chiredstarsPR) August 11, 2018