With the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season in full swing, the Washington Spirit remain as the only unbeaten and untied club through three weeks of play. Action resumed this past Friday with a pair of matches.
Washington Spirit (3-0-0; 9 points) defeat Western New York Flash (1-2-0; 3 points ) 3-0
First up, the Washington Spirit defeated the Western New York Flash 3-0 to earn the full nine points through three games. Captain Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn have helped the Spirit get off to the best start in club history following victories against the Boston Breakers and Sky Blue FC in the first two weeks.
Dunn shined early, providing a fantastic assist to Diana Matheson in the fourth minute, her second assist of the year. After scoring a week earlier against Sky Blue FC, Krieger almost found the back of the net again in the 85th minute when she sent a rocket just left of the goal. The Flash dropped to eighth in the league standings after Friday night’s home opener. Samantha Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle both started for the Flash.
The Spirit will take on Portland Thorns FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex next Saturday in a top-of-the-table matchup. Meanwhile, the Flash will travel south to Rutgers University to play Sky Blue FC on Saturday.
Houston Dash (1-1-1; 4 points) draw 0-0 with Sky Blue FC (1-1-1; 4 points)
Following a tough road loss against the Orlando Pride in week two that also resulted in the loss of midfielder Carli Lloyd for 3-6 weeks with an MCL sprain, the Houston Dash played Sky Blue FC to a scoreless draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday. Sky Blue will head back home this Saturday to host the Western New York Flash, while the Dash will travel to Kansas City to play the Blues on Saturday evening.
Portland Thorns FC (2-0-1; 7 points) defeat Boston Breakers (0-3-0; 0 points) 1-0
The Portland Thorns defeated the Boston Breakers 1-0 to jump to second place in the NWSL standings, trailing only the Spirit.
Thorns captain Tobin Heath earned her fourth assist of the season after her short free kick from 18 yards out on the left side connected to the head of the crashing Dagny Brynjardottir for the game-winning goal. Meghan Klingenberg drew a foul that earned the set piece for Heath that eventually led to the goal. The Breakers will host the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday and will hope to earn their first point this season.
Chicago Red Stars (2-1-0; 6 points) defeat Orlando Pride (2-1-0; 6 points) 1-0
The Red Stars defeated the Orlando Pride 1-0 on Saturday to maintain its perfect home record this season. The match featured Women's National Team players at the front and back with WNT forwards Christen Press and Alex Morgan, and goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher.
Chicago came out on top with Press notching the game-winner in the 64th minute after she ran under a long pass into the box and blasted a shot over the diving Harris for her second goal of the season. Naeher earned her second shutout of the season, recording four saves. Both Naeher and Harris top the league with 13 saves apiece. The Pride will head back home to Orlando to take on the Seattle Reign, while the Red Stars travel to face the Breakers on Saturday.
Seattle Reign FC (2-1-0; 6 points) defeat FC Kansas City (0-2-1; 1 point) 1-0
In a rematch of the 2015 NWSL Championship game the Reign flipped the result this time around, earning a 1-0 victory against FC Kansas City. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo earned her second shutout of the season, just one of three goalkeepers to do so. The Reign sit in third place in the league standings while Kansas City dropped to ninth. Kansas City will host the Dash on Saturday evening, while Seattle travels across the country to Orlando for the first match between the sides on Sunday afternoon.
Crystal Dunn – 90 minutes, assist (Washington Spirit)
Whitney Engen (capt.) – 90 minutes (Boston Breakers)
Ashlyn Harris – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Tobin Heath (capt.) – 89 minutes, assist (Portland Thorns FC)
Jaelene Hinkle – 90 minutes (Western New York Flash)
Lindsey Horan – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Meghan Klingenberg – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Ali Krieger (capt.) – 90 minutes (Washington Spirit)
Allie Long – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Samantha Mewis – 90 minutes (Western New York Flash)
Alex Morgan (capt.) – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Alyssa Naeher – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Kelley O’Hara – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Heather O’Reilly – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Christen Press (capt.) – 90 minutes, GOAL (Chicago Red Stars)
Christie Rampone (capt.) – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Hope Solo – 90 minutes (Seattle Reign FC)
Emily Sonnett – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
* Did not play:
Morgan Brian – (Houston Dash)
Julie Johnston – (Chicago Red Stars)
Carli Lloyd – (Houston Dash)
Week 4 Matchups:
Saturday, May 7
7 p.m. ET: Sky Blue FC vs. Western New York Flash
7 p.m. ET: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns FC
7 p.m. ET: Boston Breakers vs. Chicago Red Stars
7:30 p.m. CT: FC Kansas City vs. Houston Dash
Sunday, May 8
5 p.m. ET: Orlando Pride vs. Seattle Reign FC