Kristen Hamilton scored twice in the opening 13 minutes and rookie Ashley Hatch scored for the second game running to lead the North Carolina Courage back to the top of the Power Rankings with 3-1 victory over the Boston Breakers.
The Courage have won three of their last four contests to recover from a two-game slide back in May. Coach Paul Riley and his side will have been in first place for 63 consecutive days by the time they take the field again June 24 when they face the Breakers for the third and final time this season.
Meanwhile, Marta and Samantha Kerr joined Hamilton as the three players to net a brace in this week – and Kerr was also involved in a bit of NWSL history in Sky Blue FC’s win over the Portland Thorns.
See below where everyone ranks following a Week 9 shake up.
7-3-0, 21 pts
You think the Courage have DJ Khaled cued up in the locker room when the game kicks off? Two goals from Kristen Hamilton powered North Carolina to a 3-1 win over Boston and their seventh victory in their first 10 matches. Carolina’s 21 points are tied for the fourth-best 10-game start in league history.
5-2-2, 17 pts
Christen Press has a goal or an assist in each of the last five games. The Red Stars needed a late penalty from the U.S. international to earn a 1-1 draw with Washington, but were able to extend their unbeaten run to six games – the longest active streak in the league.
5-4-1, 16 pts
Sky Blue kicked off in Week 9 and 25 seconds later they equaled the fastest goal in NWSL history as Raquel Rodriguez found the back of the net to spark a 3-1 road win over Portland. Sam Kerr assisted on the goal and scored two of her own to become the third player to reach the 30-goal mark. So that happened.
3-3-3, 12 pts
Well, that didn’t take long. Eight games into her NWSL career, Marta is tied for the league lead with five goals – including two in a 4-2 win over Houston in Week 9. Meanwhile, Camila crushed a 40-yard screamer for one of the goals of the season.
4-2-3, 15 pts
The Thorns gave up a first-minute goal to Sky Blue FC but fought on until they were ultimately undone by a pair of second-half goals in a 3-1 loss to the Jersey Girls. Christine Sinclair scored her second of the season to prevent the shutout as Portland had a six-game unbeaten run snapped.
3-2-4, 13 pts
The good news? The Reign scored as many goals against FC Kansas City in Week 9 as they did in their previous six road games vs. the Blues. The bad news? Seattle had to settle for a 2-2 draw despite Megan Rapinoe notching her fifth goal of the year – tied for the league lead.
2-5-2, 8 pts
Francisca Ordega scored her third goal of the year to help the Spirit come away with a 1-1 road draw against Chicago as Washington went unbeaten in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Stephanie Labbé made three saves in the draw to push her total to 41 on the year- tied for second in the league.
3-3-3, 12 pts
Substitute Maegan Kelly secured a 2-2 draw for FC Kansas City against Seattle with her 84th-minute goal in Week 9. The Blues have lost just once in the last six games – but Vlatko Andonovski will be concerned that they’ve also won just twice during that stretch.
2-5-2, 8 pts
A 3-1 loss to North Carolina in Week 9 saw the Breakers extend their winless run to six games. Adriana Leon had a goal in the loss to continue her strong season (2 goals, 3 assists). Boston and the Courage are back at it against each other again in Week 10 as the Breakers try to make do without Rose Lavelle (hamstring).
2-7-0, 6 pts
Late goals from Poliana and Nichelle Prince – both assisted by Andressa – were not enough for the Dash as a 4-2 loss to Orlando saw Houston match an unwelcome club-record with their sixth consecutive loss. The Dash will look to avoid becoming the fourth team in league history to drop seven straight when they face Orlando again in Week 10.