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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Week 3 Power Rankings
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
North Carolina forwards Lynn Williams and Jess McDonald scored their first goals of the 2017 season in Week 3. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)
North Carolina forwards Lynn Williams and Jess McDonald scored their first goals of the 2017 season in Week 3. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

The North Carolina Courage have hit the ground running in their new home to become just the third team in league history to win their first three games of a season.

After being held off the score sheet through the first two games, 2016 NWSL MVP Lynn Williams made sure she wouldn’t go a third without a goal as she notched her first tally of the season for the Courage to put the finishing touch on a three-goal outburst against the Orlando Pride.

Elsewhere during Week 3, Nadia Nadim and the Portland Thorns returned to their winning ways and the Boston Breakers seem intent on showing they have no intention of spending another year in the NWSL basement with their biggest win since 2014 – and first-ever victory over the Seattle Reign – behind encouraging performances from Adrianna Leon and Rose Lavelle.


1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
3-0-0, 9 pts
Last week: 1

The Courage made it three wins in as many games with a 3-1 victory against Orlando as Jessica McDonald, Samantha Mewis and 2016 MVP Lynn Williams all got their first goals of the year. North Carolina will try to become just the second team in league history with four straight wins to start a season when they take on Boston in Week 4.


2
PORTLAND THORNS FC
2-1-0, 6 pts
Up: 1
Last week: 3

Nadia Nadim converted from the penalty spot and Adriana Franch made five saves to send the Thorns to a 1-0 victory over Chicago as Portland won their sixth straight home game to match the league record held by the Seattle Reign. The Thorns look set a new all-time mark in Week 4 when they host their Pacific Northwest rivals.


3
BOSTON BREAKERS
2-1-0, 6 pts
Up: 3
Last week: 6

Memo to the other nine teams in the league: Rose Lavelle is here and taking no prisoners. The No. 1 overall pick notched her first NWSL goal and Adrianna Leon had a goal and two assists to lead the Breakers to their first-ever victory over the Seattle Reign. Boston will try to three straight wins for the first time in club history when they face North Carolina in Week 4.


4
HOUSTON DASH
2-1-0, 6 pts
Up: 3
Last week: 7

Kealia Ohai scored her 13th goal in her last 13 games and goalkeeper Lydia Williams needed to make just one save as the Dash earned their first-ever away win against Washington with a 1-0 victory in Week 3. Houston will keep the road show going in Week 4 as they travel to face Chicago for the second time this season.


5
SKY BLUE FC
1-1-1, 4 pts
Up: 3
Last week: 7

2016 Rookie of the Year Raquel Rodriguez picked up her first goal of the year off the first NWSL assist from current rookie Mandy Freeman as Sky Blue collected their first-ever home win against FC Kansas City. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Kailen Sheridan seems to be the solution thus far this season as she stopped all three shots she faced to earn her first shutout.


6
CHICAGO RED STARS
1-2-0, 3 pts
Down: 2
Last week: 4

The Red Stars dropped their second straight road game to start the season in a 1-0 loss to the Portland Thorns in Week 3. Chicago returns to Toyota Park to face Houston in Week 4 as they begin a stretch that will see them play six of their next seven at home.


7
SEATTLE REIGN FC
1-1-1, 4 pts
Down: 5
Last week: 2

After finishing 2016 with the No. 7-ranked road record, the Reign got off to an inauspicious start away from home this year with a 3-0 loss at Boston – their first-ever defeat against the Breakers. Coach Laura Harvey and her players will look to regroup against the Portland Thorns in the first of three meetings versus their rivals this season.


8
FC KANSAS CITY
1-2-0, 3 pts
Down: 3
Last week: 5

A win in the opening game of the season has been followed by a pair of 1-0 losses. The Blues haven’t found the back of the net in the last 222 minutes – a worrying sign given they were tied for the most shutouts against last year.


9
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
0-2-1, 1 pt
Last week: 9

Alarm bells are ringing for the Spirit after a 1-0 loss to Houston that saw Washington go winless through the first three games of a season for the first time since 2013. The club with the longest active playoff streak now finds themselves five points adrift of a postseason position heading into Week 4.


10
ORLANDO PRIDE
0-2-1, 1 pt
Last week: 10

Camila’s first NWSL goal wasn’t enough to keep the Pride from losing 3-1 against North Carolina. The loss pushed Orlando’s winless run to 11 games – tied for the second longest streak in league history. Marta and co. try to get things going in the right direction vs. FC Kansas City in Week 4.

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