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By: Antonia Loffredo
Here’s What You Missed This Week: 7/5-7/7

The last spate of matches until August 23rd didn’t disappoint as fans and players braved the summer heat together for a weekend of quality soccer. Goals were scored, records broken, an unbeaten streak ended, and we have the recap for you here in case you missed it.

Friday, July 5

Portland Thorns FC 1, San Diego Wave 0

Headed into their Friday night match against the San Diego Wave, the Portland Thorns were on a three-match winless streak. That all changed when Thorns forward Janine Beckie’s cross found teammate Izzy D’Aquila in front of the net in the 85th minute. Shaking her defender, D’Aquila’s redirection was too much for Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to give the Thorns a lead they wouldn’t give up. The break comes at a perfect time for the Wave, who have been unable to score in the last 3 matches and are winless in their last 9, and will look to recalibrate their offense in their time off.

Watch the full highlights here.

Saturday, July 6

Chicago Red Stars 1, Houston Dash 0

The Houston Dash are winless in five matches while the Red Stars are surely headed into their Olympic break on a positive note, having won their second game in a row on Saturday thanks to a goal from forward Mal Swanson. Swanson received the ball from teammate Leilanni Nesbeth, who picked off a pass and flicked it into Swanson’s path, giving her the momentum to find her space and aim for the far corner just outside of Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell’s reach. Swanson has scored in four consecutive matches, tying this season’s record and the Red Stars’ single-season record. Despite the loss, the Dash’s offensive potential was there, as they made 17 shots and 6 on target, forcing Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to make 6 saves.

Watch the full highlights here.

Kansas City Current 1, Orlando Pride 2

In perhaps the match of the season, the unbeaten Orlando Pride traveled to Kansas City to take on the similarly unbeaten Kansas City Current. Orlando flew home still unbeaten and with all three points after they defeated the Current in a sold-out CPKC Stadium. Barbra Banda opened up the scoring in the 37th minute after collecting a loose ball in the box, silencing the packed stadium after slotting it past Current goalkeeper AD Franch. Less than two minutes later, Current forward Temwa Chawinga evened the score after seemingly taking on the whole Pride squad. The Pride went to the locker room at the half tied, down a player due to a second yellow, and facing another 45 minutes of a heavy Current press. In the 63rd minute, the Pride were awarded a penalty, which Marta sent right down the middle. The Current were unable to answer with a tying goal of their own and the match ended with the Current’s unbeaten streak snapped and the Pride’s extending to seventeen since last season.

Watch the full highlights here.

Angel City FC 1, NJ/NY Gotham FC 2

Gotham FC came out the victors in the NWSL’s first East Coast versus West Coast match of the day. The first goal of the match was scored by none other than Rose Lavelle, whose well-timed run into the box put her in the path of a ball that had been beautifully passed around by her teammates. The first half was closed out by a goal from Delanie Sheehan to double her team’s lead, passed to her in front of goal by Ella Stevens. In the second half, ACFC was awarded a penalty which Claire Emslie efficiently put away. Ultimately, Gotham FC held their lead and came away victorious, ending the weekend fourth in the standings behind the Spirit by three points.

Watch the full highlights here.

Bay FC 0, Washington Spirit 3

And in the final east coast versus west coast match of the night, Bay FC hosted the Washington Spirit, who had the most dominant score line of the weekend. Run of play goals from Makenna Morris and Ouleye Sarr were separated by a penalty in the 21st minute taken by Trinity Rodman after a VAR check. Stats-wise, despite the scoreline, the two teams were even in shots on target, with Bay FC actually taking more. But credit to Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury, who made the saves when needed and directed her back line calmly and efficiently to stifle the Bay FC attack. Spirit has now won both matches against Bay FC and heads into the break third in the standings.

Watch the full highlights here.

Sunday July 7

North Carolina Courage 3, Racing Louisville FC 1

Sunday’s match action started in North Carolina as the Courage hosted Racing Louisville FC. The Courage continue to be a dark horse contender for a deep playoff run, and have grown more as the season progresses. Racing’s star rookie Reilyn Turner opened the scoring but goals by Ashley Sanchez, Manaka Matsukubo, and Olivia Wingate put the home team in the lead. Both teams ultimately were even in shots but Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy was the difference maker and center back pairing Kaleigh Kurtz and Malia Berkely ensured loose balls were cleared away quickly and calmly.

Watch the full highlights here.

Seattle Reign FC 1, Utah Royals FC 1

In the final match of the weekend, Seattle Reign FC hosted expansion team Utah Royals FC in the two teams’ first meeting of the season, and the match ended the same way it did last time Reign hosted a match—a 1-1 tie. The match remained scoreless despite multiple shots on goal on either end of the field, acrobatically saved by goalkeepers Mandy Haught and Claudia Dickey. Ally Sentnor eventually broke the deadlock in the 67th minute after blocking a pass by Reign defender Alana Cook before making a run on goal and shooting into the upper right corner. In the 75th minute, however, Reign evened the score when Veronica Latsko perfectly trapped a deflected ball and slot it past Haught. The rest of the match remained scoreless and the game ended with a well-earned point for both sides.

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