With five matches over the weekend, the table was shuffled once more. On Saturday, Chicago faced North Carolina, winning 1-0. Gotham took on OL Reign, winning 1-0 in a scrappy competition. Starting late on the west coast, Portland defeated Louisville 3-0.
On Sunday, Washington took on Orlando, leaving both teams walking away with a single point after a 1-1 draw. The day concluded with a 1-0 victory for Houston over Kansas City.
Davidson and Chicago take down North Carolina
Chicago had an unlikely win this past weekend against reigning league champions the North Carolina Courage. Despite the return of international superstar Sam Mewis, the Courage were unable to get the job done. Rising star Rachel Hill scored in the 29th minute off of a Casey Murphy mistake. Throughout the game, NC looked lost, missing passes frequently and performing sloppily in the back. This sloppy performance resulted in an unexpected 1-0 loss for arguably one of the best teams in the league.
Portland dominates Louisville without Smith
Sophia Smith ‘22 was unavailable for Portland’s last game for an unannounced reason, however Portland was still able to pull out a 3-0 victory against the newest NWSL team, Racing Louisville.
Starting off the action in the eighth minute was Angela Salem with a stunning goal. This goal continued the Portland streak of scoring early and dominating the momentum of the match from the start. At half time, the Thorns had taken a total of 17 shots, seven of which were on goal, while Louisville had only taken two shots, none of which were on goal.
In the 48th minute, Rocky Rodriguez put her name on the scoreboard with an assist from Lindsay Horan. In the 79th minute, Horan put in the final goal, leading Portland to a 3-0 victory.
O’Hara and Riley go to battle
An exciting Stanford matchup occurred Sunday as the Orlando Pride took on the Washington Spirit, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Ali Riley ‘10 and Kelly O’Hara ‘10 gave the ultimate throwback with the two dominating the flanks on defense. Andi Sullivan ‘18 was also back from her previous red card suspension for the match, helping straighten out the midfield.
However, the star duo of the game was the matchup between O’Hara and Marta. The dicey matchup was evident early on in the game, with O’Hara becoming visibly frustrated with Marta. Coming into the second half, O’Hara soon picked up a bloody lip, taking a knock from Marta. This altercation fueled O’Hara as fans saw her kick it into second gear. In the 64th minute, O’Hara served in a beautifully-placed ball to teammate Ashley Hatch, who drove it into the back of the net.
Just three minutes later, another unlikely goal came from rising Orlando superstar Taylor Kornieck. Kornieck took a play out of teammate Alex Morgan’s book, slotting a shot past the Washington keeper, into the far corner. The game would end 1-1 — a good result for Orlando on the road. Riley and the Pride remain at the top of the table, having yet to lose a game.
Another clean sheet for Campbell
Despite the loss of the Canadians this past week due to international duty, Jane Campbell ‘17 kept another clean sheet with a narrow win by Houston. Luckily for Houston, the 25th minute goal by Kansas City was ultimately called offside. Then, in the second half, an unlikely goal came from Katie Naughton to give Houston the win. Campbell will now remain in Houston for the June USWNT camp, where she will compete for one of two spots on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic roster.
Cook comes back to the states
OL Reign announced Monday that former Cardinal Alana Cook ‘19 will be returning to the states on a three-year contract with the team. Cook recently finished out her season with French team PSG, where she helped defeat 14-year league champions Lyon. Cook will join the Reign immediately after the international break. With all the additions OL Reign is seeing, fans have begun to ask: will they be unstoppable?
The NWSL will take a break this coming weekend while international players are away with their respective national teams. Matches will resume the following weekend.