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Goals, goals and own-goals: week 4 in NWSL

Kim Little’s league scoring record falls in a goal-filled weekend.

Gallery Photo: NWSL Final - Seattle Reign vs. FC KC: Photos Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

Seattle Reign FC 2 – 2 Portland Thorns FC

Nothing more needs to be said that wasn’t already covered in our match recap, but check out the highlights to enjoy Jess Fishlock’s first minute golazo and unfortunate own goal.

Chicago Red Stars 2 – 0 Houston Dash

The first rematch of the 2017 season saw the same score line as the first match, but with the roles reversed as Chicago won 2-0 in front of a national TV audience. The game started slowly, with neither team really testing the opposing defense. Chicago’s first goal came just moments before the halftime whistle, when Dash forward Sarah Hagen attempted to head a dangerous Red Stars set-piece clear, but unfortunately redirected the ball into her own goal. Chicago doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Julie Ertz one-timed a cross from 8 yards out. After that, Houston was on the front foot, but was unable to best Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher. With the win Chicago leapfrogs the Dash and moves into 3rd place.

Houston hosts Sky Blue next Saturday, while Chicago hosts Boston on Sunday.

Washington Spirit 4 – 3 Sky Blue FC

This game featured nearly as many goals as the other four matches combined, as the Spirit offense finally awoke after scoring only one goal in their prior three matches. Spirit striker Francisca Ordega had a dominant performance, scoring two goals, assisting on the third Spirit goal, and forcing an own goal off another dangerous shot that was redirected into the Sky Blue goal by defender Erin Simon.

Former Seattle Reign midfielder Havana Solaun scored the other Spirit goal. Sarah Killion had a second-half brace of her own as Sky Blue attempted to claw back from a 3-1 halftime deficit, but they were unable to find the equalizer despite several good opportunities, including a McKenzie Meehan shot that was saved off the line by Spirit defender Estelle Johnson, and a huge save by Stephanie Labbe on a Kelley O’Hara free kick in stoppage time.

Washington travels to Seattle next week, while Sky Blue visits Houston.

North Carolina Courage 1 – 0 Boston Breakers

The Breakers have shown that their promising start to this season is no fluke, as they held their own against the top team in the league after getting steamrolled by them by a combined 17-3 in four games last season. Jessica McDonald scored off a corner kick, and with that goal she passed Kim Little for the all-time NWSL scoring lead.

Much of the game was played in the Boston half, and the Courage did well to prevent Boston from generating any dangerous counterattacking opportunities, but the Breakers defense held strong against the dangerous North Carolina attack. The Courage remain perfect through four games and are early favorites to repeat as champions.

Boston travels to Chicago next week, while North Carolina is on the road at Orlando.

FC Kansas City 1 – 1 Orlando Pride

Recent Pride signing Marta opened her NWSL account with a 73rd minute goal after a nice passing sequence, but FC Kansas City found a late equalizer to salvage a draw in an entertaining back-and-forth game. Both sides had a number of quality opportunities throughout the game, but the goalkeepers were up to the challenge. The save of the match came in the 67th minute, when Pride keeper Ashlyn Harris first parried a lobbing Lo’Eau LaBonta chip shot to Sydney Leroux at the top of the box, but recovered from her mistake in time to make a diving save on Leroux’s blistering shot.

The Pride are the final team without a win this season, and are now winless in their last 12 games dating back to last season.

Orlando returns home to face North Carolina next weekend, while FCKC hosts the Thorns.

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