NWSL Week 17 Weekend Recap


FC Kansas City solidified their first-placed standing with a win over the Portland Thorns in a 3-2 thriller on Sunday.

Boston Breakers vs Western New York Flash, Final Score 2-2

The Breakers took a two goal lead in the 65th minute but couldn't prevent the visitors from stealing a point with two late goals in the final 15 minutes.

Boston got off to a great start, especially defensively, allowing the visitors to put up four shots in the first half and only one on frame. The home side got on the board early in the 17th minute thanks in part to Cat Whitehill, whose cross found Kyah Simon at the far post and the Australian national finished it off with a volley into the back of the net. The Breakers held a 1-0 lead going into half-time and would eventually double it fifteen minutes into the second half.

The second half looked to shift in the Flash's favor as they managed more shots on goal and did a better job of maintaining possession until Lianne Sanderson doubled the Breakers' lead.

Sanderson earned her fourth goal of the season following a corner kick for the Breakers in the 64th minute. The ball was pushed out of a scramble in the box and landed at the top of the 18-yard area, where Sanderson picked it up and struck it low into the back of the net. It appeared as though the Breakers were on their way to a victory at home and an opportunity to move closer to the playoff slots until the Flash responded in the 77th minute.

Vicki DiMartino cut the Breakers lead in half after she clipped the ball inside the box and sent it over Alyssa Naeher's head. Five minutes before regular time was called, Carli Lloyd tied up the game with a blast to the top corner to steal a draw for her side.

Sky Blue FC vs Washington Spirit, Final Score 1-0

The New Jersey Blues are still in the playoff picture following their 1-0 victory at home against Washington thanks to a lone goal from Monica Ocampo.

It was a hard fought match for both sides, who have both recently undergone a string of injuries to key starting players. They both had to play modified starting XIs with some midfielders moving up top. The Spirit had a last minute change as Chantel Jones stepped in between the posts to replace Ashlyn Harris, who was injured during warmups.

The second string keeper did well to fend off the home team. Sky Blue put three shots on frame in the first half but failed to defeat Jones. Washington was quiet in the first half and improved going into the second half, but still failed to get on the scoreboard.

Sky Blue entered the second half energized looking to bring three points home, as they did in the 58th minute with Monica Ocampo's game winner. Katy Freels moved the ball into the box to find Sophie Schmidt running ahead of her. The Canadian international forced Jones off her line, giving Schmidt a golden opportunity to send a pass to Ocampo who was standing in front of an open net.

Ocampo's goal gave Sky Blue a 1-0 lead and three points at home, enough to maintain their third place spot and continue their quest to the playoffs.

Chicago Red Stars vs Seattle Reign FC, Final Score 3-1

A brace from Inka Grings boosted Chicago to a 3-1 win over Seattle keeping them in the fight to secure a spot in the playoffs.

The home side got lucky early on in the 11th minute, when they were awarded a penalty kick after Jessica Fishlock tripped up Jen Hoy inside the 18-yard box. German international defender Sonja Fuss converted the PK despite Hope Solo correctly reading the direction of her shot.

Seattle eventually managed to equalize in the 28th minute on the back of a penalty kick of their own, but failed to make any further impact on the scoreboard. The penalty was awarded to the visitors after Liz Bogus was sandwiched by two Red Stars defenders and taken down in the area. Kaylyn Kyle successfully converted the PK, striking it low past Taylor Vancil, who like Solo guessed correctly on the shot but failed to make a save.

The tempo picked up following Seattle's PK as Leslie Osborne was booked with a yellow card for a sloppy tackle on a Reign player. The Red Stars broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with the first of two goals on the night by Inka Grings.

The German forward took advantage of a Seattle turnover as Solo tried to set up a counter attack, but her strike intended for a defender was intercepted by Grings and smacked into the back of the net.

Grings wasn't done scoring for the night, adding misery for Seattle, who were desperately trying to equalize in the second half. In the 71st minute, Grings received a cross from Jen Hoy at the far post. Hoy drew the attention of Solo off her line, forcing her to dive after Hoy crossed the ball to Grings who finished into an open net.

Portland Thorns FC vs FC Kansas City, Final Score 3-2

Lauren Holiday's brace helped KC, who clinched a playoff spot on Sunday night, earn a 3-2 win over Portland.

Both keepers were on their game in the first half, making life difficult for either side to score from any angle. FC Kansas City spent a majority of the opening half setting up predictable attacks down the right side of the field, forcing head coach Vlatko Andonovski to bark out order to switch the point of attack. His leadership from the bench helped produce the opening goal of the night.

The Thorns penetrated the Blues penalty box on several occasions but Nicole Barnhart saved three shots from Portland early on. The opening goal by FC Kansas City was produced by the league leader in goals, Lauren Holiday, in the 23rd minute.

Holiday was unmarked outside the six yard box when she picked up a pass from Merritt Mathias. The U.S. midfielder took her time taking an added touch before curving a strike around Karina LeBlanc and finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

In the 51st minute, Danielle Foxhoven scored the equalizer for Portland after getting on the end of a Rachel Buehler cross at the edge of the 6-yard box and chipping the ball into the back of the net.

The Thorns crowd was fired up after the equalizer, but were quickly silenced when Kansas City scored the next two goals. In the 54th minute, Holiday netted her 12th goal of the season, slipping past the defense running onto a through ball from Erika Tymrak. Holiday slid the ball into the far post beyond LeBlanc's reach, giving FCKC their second lead of the night.

Tobin Heath nearly equalized for the Thorns shortly after but her rocket shot was punched over the crossbar by Barnhart. In the 73rd minute, FCKC put the nail in the coffin thanks to Kristie Mewis, who scored her first goal of the season. She blasted a strike from outside the 18-yard area, which LeBlanc got her fingers to, but she couldn't keep the powerful strike out of the net.

In the 89th minute, Morgan picked up a pass from Allie Long inside the box and finished to pull a goal back, giving Portland a way back into the game. However, they were unable to find an equalizer.

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