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NWSL round-up: June 1, 2021

NWSL round-up: The Pride remain undefeated, Thorns and Courage return to play-off spots, Spirit wins the battle of Washingtons

June 1, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
Five National Women’s Soccer League games went down from Friday, May 28, through Sunday, May 30. Catch up on everything you need to know, including the live league table, top goalscorers, headlines and the games to watch on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6.

The North Carolina Courage showed its true colors in front of their home crowd at WakeMed Soccer Park, Putting five goals past Racing Louisville to open up NWSL play last weekend. Center-back Abby Erceg towered over Louisville defenders to give North Carolina an early lead inside the first ten minutes of play. The scoring resumed in the 63rd minute when forward Lynn Williams scored her first goal of the season. Five minutes later, attacking midfielder Debinha scored, and substitute Hailie Mace bagged a brace late in the game to make it 5-0. 

The Chicago Red Stars arrived at BBVA Stadium firing early on Saturday. A Mallory Pugh solo effort gave the Red Stars an early advantage over the Houston Dash. However, Canada’s Nichelle Prince surprised goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher with a long-range effort in the 17th-minute to level the scoring. Despite Chicago pushing for an equalizer, it was the Dash’s Kristie Mewis who connected a Sophie Schmidt cross to the back of the net. The goal marked the difference between the two sides.

Crystal Dunn’s game-winner against NJ/NY Gotham FC marked her first goal for the Portland Thorns. The long-range effort marked the difference between the two 2021 Challenge Cup finalists.

Attacking-midfielder Marta led the Orlando Pride to their third win in a row, scoring a game-winning goal against Kansas City on Sunday. Moreover, forward Alex Morgan missed a penalty kick in the second half that could have served as her fourth goal of the season. Nonetheless, Morgan remains the competition’s top scorer up to this stage, with three goals in four games.

Like the other two games on Sunday, the matchup between the Washington Spirit and OL Reign ended 1-0. Forward Megan Rapinoe scored an own goal to give the Spirit a win that left them second in the NWSL table.

Top five teams in the NWSL until May 31, 2021

NWSL top scorers until May 31, 2021

NWSL top headlines until May 31, 2021

  • The Orlando Pride has 10 points from four games this season. In 2019, it took them 14 games to get to 11 points. 
  • Goal-line technology has been called upon fans and journalists to be used by the NWSL after a video of Marta’s goal against Kansas City showed that the ball did not fully cross the line. 
  • Kansas City’s Addie McCain made her first NWSL start for Kansas City. 
  • OL Reign traded forward Jasmyne Spencer to the Houston Dash for a third-round draft pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft. 
  • Midfielder Sam Mewis made her NWSL return with the Courage as a starter against Racing Louisville on Friday. Like Mewis, midfielder Rose Lavelle made her return to NWSL from Manchester City and played for about half an hour.
  • Alex Morgan’s goal assisted by Taylor Kornieck against the Portland Thorns made it to Sports Center’s Top 10 at number five.

Top matches to watch in NWSL, June 5 & 6


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