NWSL 2023 Round Three Wrap

by Blaise Ogutu (18/4/23)

Above: Chicago Red Stars players celebrate after scoring against the Kansas City Current. Photo: @EmCAnderson/Twitter.

Chicago Red Stars make light work of Kansas City Current as late goals highlight Week Three

After a two-week break, the NWSL made its return which saw the Chicago Red Stars pile more misery on Kansas City Current with a 4-2 home win.

Kansas City had an opening in the first two minutes of the game when Michelle Cooper ran through on goal after dispossessing Tierna Davidson. The rookie couldn’t find the back of the net though as her tame effort went wide off the mark.

Chicago then went down the other end and made their visit to Current’s area a success when Ella Stevens finished off a deflected square ball to give the home side the lead in the fourth minute.

The away side had chances of their own to go level in the first half with Lo’eau Labonta and Chardonnay Curran having efforts on goal but couldn’t shake the net.

Chris Petrucelli’s side came back in the second half with the same vigour and doubled the advantage in the 49th minute through Penelope Hocking. Ella Stevens was again at the heart of the action, slipping through Hocking who took a first-time shot that nestled in the net for her first NWSL goal.

The third of the night came on the hour mark via Cheyna Matthews. The Jamaican international rallied her way past the porous Kansas defence down the right flank before unleashing a right-footed shot that deflected off the upright and hit Adrianna Franch before rolling beyond the white line.

Hocking then added to the rout with her second of the evening. Again finding herself 1-on-1 with the goaltender, she bent her effort past Franch to find the top corner in the 66th minute.

Matt Porter’s charges did pull a couple of goals back with Brazilian forward Debinha and Swedish international Mimmi Larsson scoring their first goals in Kansas kits but it was too little too late.

In other games, the Washington Spirit powered through North Carolina Courage away from home with a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch either side of a Kerolin penalty for the hosts at the WakeMed Soccer Park.

 Above: Gotham FC’s Lynn Williams in battle against Orlando Pride’s defence. Photo: GothamFC/Twitter.

Two goals deep in stoppage time from Midge Purce and Lynn Williams saw Gotham FC sneak past Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Olivia Van Der Jagt scored her first-ever NWSL goal for OL Reign against the San Diego Wave to win the game in dramatic fashion in front of a record crowd at the Lumen Field in Seattle.

Portland Thorns and Houston Dash had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Providence Park on Friday night. Houston’s Maria Sanchez’s low-driven shot in the 24th minute cancelled out Crystal Dunn’s ninth minute opener meaning both teams remain undefeated in the league.

Above: Angel City celebrate Savannah McCaskill’s late equaliser against Racing Louisville. Photo: @weareangelcity/Twitter

Angel City FC and Racing Louisville also had to share the spoils in California in a game of two halves as the home side came from behind to earn a point.

Louisville took an early lead when Savannah DeMelo converted her spot-kick in the third minute of the game after she was brought down by Mary Alice Vignola in the box.

Kim Bjorkegren’s side doubled the lead through Kirsten Davis in the 32nd minute. DeMelo found the forward with a neat pass and Davis cut inside on her left foot before rifling her shot into the roof of the net.

It took over an hour for the home crowd to have something to celebrate as Katie Johnson scored in her second successive game with a near-post finish from a set-piece to half the deficit.

The equaliser came in the 87th minute through Savannah McCaskill who swivelled off a defender and managed to score while off-balance to send the BMO Stadium into a frenzy and rescue a point for Freya Coombe’s side.

Here is how things stand ahead of game week four.

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