With a number of Aussies playing abroad in the National Women’s Soccer League this year, Beyond 90 will be keeping up with all the results and major talking points across each round.
The Utah Royals earned its second consecutive 1-0 victory for the first time in four matches over the last two seasons. Utah Forward Christen Press scored her first goal of 2019 on a brilliant strike from 23 yards out, beating Orlando goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, who was a last-minute sub for an injured Ashlyn Harris.
Maintaining the majority of the possession throughout the first half, Orlando had their chances in the second half when, in the 74th minute, Carson Pickett (BRI) crossed the ball to Australian midfielder Alanna Kennedy (SYD), who was positioned perfectly at the far post. However, the ball had a little too much heat on it for Kennedy to handle.
74' | Inches out of reach for Alanna back post! 😬
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) April 28, 2019
Kennedy and Emily van Egmond both started for Orlando and played the full 90.
The Chicago Red Stars grabbed their first win and three points of the season with a 3-0 home victory over Reign FC.
In the 13th minute, Chicago defender Casey Short opened the scoring with a perfectly-placed chip shot over Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams’ head. Japan and Brisbane Roar striker Yuki Nagasato doubled the lead with a long-range strike in the 53rd minute. Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Brooke Elby finished off the Reign with an 89th-minute strike past Williams.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the Aussie keeper came up with a few big-time saves. In the 53rd minute, the speedy Sam Kerr broke away, splitting two Reign defenders and fired a rocket towards Williams, who came up with save.
Then, in the 79th, Danielle Colaprico (SYD) laid a perfect dead-ball pass to the feet of Katie Naughton (PER), who chipped the ball toward the net. However, Williams was able to make a last-second dive to deny Chicago another goal.
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 29, 2019
With a goal and an assist on the Casey Short goal, Nagasato was named Player of the match for Chicago. Reign defender Steph Catley did not play due to a left calf strain.
Although she didn’t get on the scoreboard, Sam Kerr was still celebrated in this match, as it marked her 100th appearance in the NWSL.
The North Carolina Courage remain undefeated in 2019 with a historic win against the Houston Dash. Lynn Williams, Crystal Dunn, Debinha, and Leah Pruitt each scored one of the Courage’s four goals in the 4-1 victory.
Williams scored her 40th career NWSL goal and moved to fourth all-time in goals scored in the League.
Dash forward Rachel Daly scored Houston’s lone goal of the match in the 88th minute with a curling effort that beat Courage goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé at the far post. Dash forward Kyah Simon provided the assist on Daly’s goal after entering the game in the second half to make her season debut.
— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) April 28, 2019
Daly prevented the Courage from their first goal of the game in the 17th minute when she cleared Abby Erceg’s header inside the box with a spectacular bicycle kick.
Houston defender Clare Polkinghorne started the match and played the full 90 alongside Melbourne Victory’s Christine Nairn and Sydney FC’s Sofia Huerta. Adelaide United’s Veronica Latsko also made an appearance for Houston from the bench.
Sky Blue FC got a pair of goals from Carli Lloyd and earned their first point of the season Sunday in a 2-2 draw at home against Portland Thorns FC.
Sky Blue FC opened the scoring with two early goals from Lloyd. Thorns FC pulled a goal back after converting on a set piece in the 32nd minute. Tobin Heath played a curling ball into the box, picking out Christine Sinclair at the left post. Sinclair calmly slotted the ball across the face of the goal for former Sydney FC star Emily Sonnett, who finished from close range for her first goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Aussie striker Caitlin Foord dribbled down the right side and played a cross into the centre of the box. Heath then played a strong back heel past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan into the back of the net.
.@TobinHeath: Only scoring backheel goals in 2019.
2-2 | #NJvPOR
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 28, 2019
For Sonnett, this was her fifth goal of her NWSL career. She has scored at least one goal in each of the last three seasons. Her five goals ties her for third most among defenders since 2016. Sydney FC’s Savannah McCaskill made her season debut off the bench for Sky Blue FC, while Foord and Ellie Carpenter both started for Portland and played the full 90. Hayley Raso remains sidelined with injury.