NCC leads pack while the rest draw

It was a slow weekend for most of the NWSL as three of its four games ended in draws and the North Carolina Courage continues to railroad everyone in the standings.

NCC 2, HOUSTON 0

Despite being hopeful that the Houston Dash would turn around this season after snagging Christen Press in a blockbuster trade, the Dash continues to produce dismal results, falling further to 0-2-3 record on the year.

The North Carolina Courage showed no mercy Saturday against the second worst team in the league, taking 27 shots on the night while the Dash struggled to break into the double digits. The Dash was always scrambling to keep up with the Courage though. Crystal Dunn pounded a goal in in the second minute of play off a throw in while Kristen Hamilton punched one in just after half time to extend the lead 2-0.

Houston only record three shots on goal.

Chicago’s Alyssa Mautz and Washington’s Francisca Ordega fight for the ball.

CHICAGO 1, WASHINGTON 1

Chicago Red Stars fell short in their rally against the Washington Spirit Saturday afternoon, drawing 1-1 at the end of the night.

Washington showed Chicago quickly that it had come to playing, drawing first blood in the third minute. A long ball from Washington’s defense fell at the feet of Mallory Puegh who managed to draw Chicago’s Naehar out of the goal before passing it in to Francisca Ordega. Ordega managed to just get a foot on the ball to push it in for a 1-0 lead.

However, Chicago didn’t take too long to respond as it found its own goal in the 19th minute off a shot from the top of the box from Alyssa Mautz. Despite controlling the game, Chicago never could find the back of the net again for the win. Chiago recorded four shots on goal out of 17 attempts while the Spirit went 3 for 8.

The Red Stars recorded 18 fouls on the night.

The 🐐 strike everybody is talking about. 😲 #VamosOrlando

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ORLANDO 1, SEATTLE 1

A draw can be misleading in soccer, and with Orlando and Seattle, it was just that on Saturday. Seattle and Orlando tied for a 1-1 finish Saturday night.

The two teams were neck-and-neck throughout the night until Seattle found an opening in the 32nd minute off a free kick. After an attempted clear by the Pride after a free kick, Megan Oyster won a 50-50 ball, heading it back toward Allie Long who punched it in for the lead. But Orlando wasn’t done yet as Marta revived the Pride in the 62nd minute, chipping in a free kick.

The two teams went back-and-forth all night, accumulating over 10 shots each and five shots on goal.

CHEEKY. Take a bow, @tobinheath. #BAONPDX #UTAvPOR #NWSL

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UTAH 1, PORTLAND 1

Utah took its fourth draw of the season, leading the league in draws. Despite looking for a win against the third-ranked Thorns, Utah failed to snag the 3-point win to jump its position in the standings, drawing 1-1 on the night.

Utah continues its struggle to find its inaugural win in its history as it once again took the draw home, but the Royals were very close to doing just that. Utah sent a long ball to the Thorns defense, but a misplay of the ball gave Utah’s Amy Rodriguez just enough time to swipe the ball from the defenders. Rodriguez managed to side step Adriana French and push in an easy goal.

However, Portland finds a new vigor to its play regularly now as Tobin Heath returns every week for more minutes on the field after her injury. Heath’s return to the field in the 57th minute and made a visible impact on Portland’s play. Just nine minutes after her return, she managed to rally the Thorns back for the equalizer in the 66th minute, destroying Utah’s hopes for its first win this season.

Photos courtesy of ISI photos and team Instagrams.

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