Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored the first goal of the 2019 NWSL season in the 26th minute. The 2017 and 2018 Golden Boot winner wasted little time jumping into the lead in goals scored. The tally is the 60th of her NWSL career. Yuki Nagasato, who assisted on seven of Kerr’s goals in 2018, picked up the assist on Saturday’s tally. Crystal Dunn tied the match for the Courage in the 66th minute on a Jessica McDonald long throw in. Alyssa Naeher made five saves in the match. Kerr had a shot go off the crossbar and nearly cross the line in the game’s final moments.
Spirit rookie defender Sam Staab scored on a corner kick in the 59th minute for her first professional goal in her NWSL debut. Washington’s Megan Crosson scored her first NWSL goal to seal the win in the second minute of second half stoppage time. Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe picked up three saves to earn the clean sheet.
Portland Thorns FC opened the 2019 NWSL season with a 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride at Orlando City Stadium. Caitlin Foord opened the scoring with the first goal of her NWSL career, helped out by a nifty assist from midfielder Tobin Heath in the first half. Then in the second half, Foord returned the favor with an assist on Heath’s highlight-reel heel goal as she fell down. Ashlyn Harris made several saves for the Pride in the first half to keep the match close.
In the game’s final moments, Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell was called for a foul on Reign FC forward Jodie Taylor in the box. Taylor stepped up to take the PK, and Campbell dove to her right and made the save. The save preserved the 1-1 draw for the Dash vs. Reign FC. Nichelle Prince scored the first goal of the year for the Houston Dash to give them the 1-0 lead. Darian Jenkins scored for Reign FC in her first game with the team following an offseason trade from the North Carolina Courage. The goal was her first NWSL goal and came in her first NWSL start.