NWSL Week 5: Utah Royals FC Taste Defeat

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Ali Krieger #11 of the Washington Spirit falls to the pitch during the second half of their game against the Western New York Flash during the 2016 NWSL Championship at BBVA Compass Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The fifth week of the National Women’s Soccer League regular season was a new experience for a Utah Royals FC side that previously looked impenetrable.

Utah visited the Houston Dash on Saturday, May 11, with a perfect 3-0-0 record and had yet to allow a goal on the season. The Dash, just two points behind the Royals after Week 4, were looking to overtake Utah in the standings with a win on their home pitch.

Houston managed to not only be the first team to defy the Royals’ backfield but do so twice en route to a 2-1 victory. It was quite a day for Dash forward Rachel Daly, who netted both goals for Houston. Her first came at the 42nd minute and the second eight minutes later. She was assisted on the second by Arianna Jeanette Romero Tellez. Amy Rodriguez scored the lone goal for Utah, assisted by Veronica Boquete Giadans at the 29th minute.

Highlights: Utah Royals FC vs. Houston Dash | May 11, 2019The Houston Dash beat Utah Royals FC on Saturday afternoon in Week 5. It's the first loss of the season for Utah. Dash forward Rachel Daly tallied a brace and Utah forward Amy Rodriguez scored. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the NWSL on… Twitter: twitter.com/NWSL Instagram:…2019-05-11T22:34:42.000Z

The first match on Saturday was a similarly close affair. The Washington Spirit visited Sky Blue FC and thanks to another two-goal game the Spirit got the road win 3-2. Cheyna Matthews found the net at the 22nd and 68th minutes to counter goals by Sky Blue’s Raquel Rodriguez (32′) and Imani Dorsey (80′). Jordan Dibasi’s 55th-minute goal tipped the balance in Washington’s favor. Amy Harrison and Cali Farquharson got assists for Washington, while Amandine Pierre-Louis and Savannah McCaskill did the same for Sky Blue.

Highlights: Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit | May 11, 2019The Washington Spirit beat Sky Blue FC 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in Week 5. Cheyna Matthews scored twice for the Spirit and Jordan DiBiasi added her first professional goal. Raquel Rodriguez and Imani Dorsey scored for Sky Blue FC. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the NWSL…2019-05-11T22:32:40.000Z

The final match on Saturday had fans far less on the edge of their seats, as Portland Thorns FC kept the Orlando Pride winless on the season 3-1 while keeping their own record without a loss as well. It looked promising for Orlando early, when at the 10th minute Carson Pickett found Toni Pressley for a go-ahead goal. Portland got the equalizer 18 minutes later from Dagny Brynjarsdóttir, then went ahead at the 36th minute thanks to a goal by Adressinha. The final goal of the game was scored by Caitlin Ford at the 57th minute.

Highlights: Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC | May 11, 2019Portland Thorns FC beat the Orlando Pride 3-1 on Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium. The Pride opened the scoring first with a goal from Toni Pressley. The Thorns took the lead with goals from Dagný Brynjarsdóttir, Andressinha and Caitlin Foord. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the…2019-05-12T03:27:49.000Z

Sunday evening’s cap to the weekend pit the Chicago Red Stars against one of the only two remaining unbeaten sides in the league, the North Carolina Courage. North Carolina was on the verge of tying an NWSL record, having gone through its last 15 consecutive matches without a loss. The record would stand unmatched, however, as Chicago would stymie the previously explosive Courage attack and defend its home pitch 3-1. The three Red Stars goals were netted by Sam Kerr (13′, 90+3′) and Michele Vasconcellos (40′, assisted by Kerr). Lynn Williams found the net for North Carolina, assisted by Merritt Mathias, in the 33rd minute.

Highlights: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage | May 12, 2019Sam Kerr scored twice as the Chicago Red Stars beat the North Carolina Courage 3-1 to snap North Carolina's 15-game regular season unbeaten streak. Michele Vasconcelos also scored for the Red Stars and Lynn Williams scored the only goal for the Courage. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more.…2019-05-13T01:28:04.000Z

Standings After Week 5

Houston jumped into first place in the league and the overall standings got tighter as only three points separate first from sixth place in the standings heading into Week 6.

1. Houston Dash – 10 (3-1-1)
2. Utah Royals FC – 9 (3-1-0)
3. Chicago Red Stars – 8 (2-1-2)
4. North Carolina Courage 8 (2-1-2)
5. Portland Thorns FC – 8 (2-0-2)
6. Washington Spirit – 7 (2-1-1)
7. Reign FC – 3 (0-1-3)
8. Sky Blue FC – 2 (0-3-2)
9. Orlando Pride – 1 (0-5-1)

Week 6 Schedule

Another four matches on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 will feature an opportunity for either Reign FC or Sky Blue FC to get its first win of the season in addition to Portland Thorns FC seeking to keep its record without a loss. All times listed are Eastern and matches can be streamed for free live on Yahoo! Sports.

Saturday, May 18

Reign FC at Sky Blue FC, 4 p.m.
Washington Spirit at Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 19

North Carolina Courage at Utah Royals FC, 5 p.m.
Houston Dash at Chicago Red Stars, 6 p.m.

The biggest women’s football matches in North America are in the NWSL and the fifth weekof the NWSL season was more evidence toward that conclusion.

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