Sabrina D’Angelo and the North Carolina Courage defense returned to their defensive dominance in Week 4 with their third shutout of the young season.
The 2016 NWSL Championship Game MVP turned in a two-save performance to propel the Courage to a 1-0 road win over the Boston Breakers as North Carolina became just the second team in league history to stay perfect after four games.
Elsewhere, a lively 2-2 draw saw the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign settle for a share of the points while the Washington Spirit scored the most goals in a game since 2013 and the Orlando Pride gave up a late equalizer to see their winless streak groan on for a 12th consecutive game.
See below for where all the clubs rank heading into Week 5.
4-0-0, 12 pts
Jessica McDonald was on target for the second game running while goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo and her defense posted their third shutout in four matches as the Courage became the second team in NWSL history to remain perfect through four games with a 1-0 road win over Boston.
2-1-1, 7 pts
Allie Long salvaged a point for her club as she scored in the 82nd minute to secure a 2-2 draw with Seattle in Week 4. Portland twice rallied from one-goal deficits as the Thorns recovered their first point from a losing position this year after racking up a league-best 13 points from such situations in 2016.
2-2-0, 6 pts
Julie Ertz is making offense look easy. The U.S. international defender scored her second goal of the season with a thumping half-volley to help the Red Stars to a 2-0 win over Houston and get revenge for an opening day loss to the Dash. Can Ertz keep up her Crystal Dunn impression?
2-2-0, 6 pts
The Breakers were shutout for the second time in four games this season in a 1-0 loss against North Carolina. But Boston put in a gritty effort against the league leaders and will feel encouraged heading into a stretch that will see them play four of their next five on the road.
1-1-2, 4 pts
Jess Fishlock scored just 59 seconds into the Reign’s 2-2 draw with Portland as Seattle bounced back from their biggest loss since 2015. The 25-yard screamer was the fifth-fastest goal in NWSL history and her second tally of the year. The Reign start a two-game home stand against Washington in Week 5.
2-2-0, 6 pts
The Dash continue to trade off wins and losses with Houston falling to a 2-0 loss against Chicago in Week 4. It was the second time coach Randy Waldrum’s side were kept off the scoreboard this season after they were shutout eight times in 2016 – third most in the league last year.
1-2-1, 4 pt
Francisca Ordega had two goals and an assist to power the Spirit to their first victory of the year and snap a five-game regular-season winless run dating back to last season. The four-goal performance tied a single-game club record and was Washington’s biggest offensive outburst in 84 matches.
1-2-1, 4 pts
Sarah Killion scored twice to push her total to three goals on the season but Sky Blue were outgunned in a 4-3 loss to Washington. Her three goals in four games this year match the total she tallied during the whole of 2016. The Jersey outfit now ready themselves for a home-and-home series with Houston in Week 5 and Week 6.
1-2-1, 4 pts
Erika Tymrak turned in the rebound following a Yael Averbuch free kick as FC Kansas City pulled out a late 1-1 home draw against Orlando. It beats a loss, but the Blues are going to need a victory soon after extending their winless run to three games.
0-2-2, 2 pts
A 1-1 road draw with FC Kansas City saw the Pride extend their club worst winless run to 12 games – one shy of the NWSL record set by Washington in 2013. Orlando will try to avoid matching that mark in Week 5, but face a tough task as they host league leaders North Carolina.