NWSL, week 7 in review: Late game magic

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A Little late game magic for Seattle, and for O’Sky Blue, too. A-Rod nets another, and Boston? Oh, dear. Oh, brother.

Week seven was all about the second half. In Portland, 84 scoreless minutes gave way to a perfectly executed Sky Blue FC set piece as the Jersey side knocked off the Thorns. A day later and a bit to the north, the Reign stayed unbeaten with a stoppage time equalizer against Western NY. In Boston, FC Kansas City tallied two in the second frame to top the struggling Breakers.

Seattle is still very comfortably in first, with seven points separating the Reign from second place Chicago. The middle of the table is a crazy mess, with five teams and just six points between the Red Stars and seventh place Sky Blue FC. Houston is only a point out of last place, but it might as well be 20 because Boston is the team below them and the Breakers have started using NWSL Basement, 100 Is There Relegation in This League? Street, No? Thank God, MA, USA 12345 as their address.

Rampone to O'Hara
Sky Blue snapped a three-game winless streak on Saturday in Portland, stealing three points from the Thorns thanks to an 84th minute goal from Kelley O'Hara. If this story sounds familiar, it's because Sky Blue won a game in Portland in similar fashion almost exactly a year ago, then via an 80th minute strike from Taylor Lytle. Lytle didn't make the trip to Portland this time around - she's out for the season after sustaining a broken leg two weeks ago at Western NY - but Sky Blue managed to find some late game magic without her. Portland kept Jill Loyden busy, outshooting Sky Blue 18-9 for the game and 10-4 in the second half. Loyden's big performance looked good for a point and the draw, until Monica Ocampo - against the run of play - won a free kick just above midfield. O'Hara was able to shake her defender and head a perfect ball from Christie Rampone past Nadine Angerer for her second of the season and a much needed win for Sky Blue.

Insert Little-related pun here
Were the Seattle Reign really going to let not only the perfect season, but also the unbeaten one, slip away in the course of a week? After suffering their first non-win of the season Wednesday - a 1-1 draw with Kansas City - the Reign looked headed for another first: a loss. Trailing 2-1 heading into - and past - the 90th minute, Seattle's unbeaten run was all but done, eight games for the record books, but this was it. Except, this is Seattle 2014, and everything is somehow possible. This time it's Jess Fishlock with the impossibly angled layoff to Bev Goebel from the 18, as Fishlock is being barreled into by a Flash defender. Goebel plays a ball back towards the top of the box and Kim Little, who's got plenty of space but needs just a pair of touches before unleashing a shot that somehow weaves its way through everyone and just inside the post. Seattle is now winless in two, but the Reign are also unbeaten in nine and still very comfortably at the top of the table. Little's eighth of the season keeps her level with Amy Rodriguez, who also scored on Sunday, for the league lead. A season ago, Lauren Holiday won the Golden Boot with 12 goals, a number that seems so, ahem, Little, now. I'll show myself out.

It's probably time to call a plumber
Perpetual leaky faucet Boston hosted perpetual hot-comes-out-the-cold-and-cold-comes-out-the-hot-and-all-the-temperatures-come-out-all-the-time-so-let's-just-call-it-warm faucet Kansas City on Sunday night and things looked oh so hopeful for the Breakers for a minute, or 60. The Breakers outshot FCKC 14-8 and 10-3 in the second half, but this is still Boston, so they just went ahead and threw the wrench out the window and gave up two goals on those three shots while managing to score exactly none. Amy Rodriguez grabbed her eighth of the season and Nikki Phillips netted her first to snap the Blues' three-game winless skid.

Scores

Wednesday

Washington Spirit 3 - 3 Sky Blue FC
FC Kansas City 1 - 1 Seattle Reign FC
Portland Thorns FC 2 - 1 Western NY Flash

Friday

Houston Dash 1 - 3 Chicago Red Stars

Saturday

Portland Thorns FC 0 - 1 Sky Blue FC

Sunday

Seattle Reign FC 2 - 2 Western NY Flash
Boston Breakers 0 - 2 FC Kansas City

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