NWSL Week 8: Washington Spirit Cements Dominance

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Elizabeth Eddy #4 of the Western New York Flash battles for the ball with Francisca Ordega #14 of the Washington Spirit during the second half of the 2016 NWSL Championship at BBVA Compass Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Many of the best female footballers in the world will soon descend upon France for the FIFA World Cup but prior to that, some of that contingent had other business to conduct in the eighth week of the 2019 NWSL regular season.

Washington Spirit 2, Utah Royals FC 0

Tied atop the standings after Week 7, these two sides met up in Utah to determine which team would isolate itself as the league’s best heading into June. It was clear that Washington deserved that billing in its fourth consecutive win that will keep it in first place until at least June 15. Washington striker Ashley Hatch got the Spirit on the board at 23′ off a pass from defender Tori Huster then at 70′ Washington midfielder Dorian Bailey scored the first goal of her NWSL career. Royals striker Amy Rodriguez, who had netted a goal in four consecutive matches, failed to keep her streak going.

Highlights: Washington Spirit vs. Utah Royals FC | June 1, 2019The Washington Spirit beat Utah Royals FC 2-0 in Week 8. Ashley Hatch and Dorian Bailey scored for the Spirit. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the NWSL on… Twitter: https://twitter.com/NWSL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/NWSL/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSL/ For more information about the NWSL, including the latest news, the 2019…2019-06-02T02:33:07.000Z

North Carolina Courage 3, Orlando Pride 0

North Carolina got off its four-match winless streak thanks to midfielder Kristen Hamilton. Her hat trick came at 59′, 66′ and 85′. Courage keeper Samantha Leshnak turned in a clean sheet in her NWSL debut to keep Orlando winless on the season. The Pride haven’t scored a goal since May 11 and have been shutout in six of their eight matches as they continue to search for answers. Striker Leah Pruitt and defender Jaeline Hinkle each recorded assists for the Courage.

Highlights: Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage | June 1, 2019The North Carolina Courage beat the Orlando Pride 3-0 in Week 8. Kristen Hamilton scored a hat trick to lead the Courage to the win. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the NWSL on… Twitter: https://twitter.com/NWSL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/NWSL/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSL/ For more information about the NWSL, including…2019-06-02T02:35:33.000Z

Reign FC 1, Houston Dash 1

Reign FC midfielder Bethany Balcer continued her Cinderella story as the undrafted rookie secured the lone goal for her side at 32′, bidding to end Houston’s run of road matches without a loss. Reign FC keeper Casey Murphy was less than a minute away from a clean sheet but Houston defensive midfielder Christine Nairn extended the Dash’s streak of scoring at least one goal to seven games for the equalizer at 90′.

Highlights: Reign FC vs. Houston Dash | June 2, 2019The Houston Dash beat Reign FC on Sunday afternoon in Tacoma. Dash midfielder Christine Nairn scored the game-tying goal in the 90th minute. Bethany Balcer scored for the Reign. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including game highlights and more. Follow the NWSL on… Twitter: https://twitter.com/NWSL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/NWSL/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSL/ For more information…2019-06-02T23:18:39.000Z

Portland Thorns FC 3, Chicago Red Stars 0

The Portland Thorns opened up their renovated stadium in style on Sunday, aided by keeper’s Britt Eckerstrom’s clean sheet. Attacking midfielder Margaret Purce came a goal short of the week’s second hat trick, finding the back of the net at 27′ and 31′, both off passes from striker Simone Charley. The third goal came at 85′ off the foot of substitute Marissa Everett, who got a solid pass from defender Meghan Klingenberg.

Highlights: Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars | June 2, 2019Portland Thorns FC beat the Chicago Red Stars 3-0 in their home opener at Providence Park in front of a crowd of 19,461 fans. Midge Purce scored twice, both on assists from Simone Charley. Marissa Everett added the final goal of the match for the Thorns. Subscribe to our channel for more NWSL videos, including…2019-06-03T01:49:41.000Z

League Standings After Week 8

Washington is now all alone atop the standings until after the break the league is taking for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the distance between the rest of the league and the Spirit isn’t such that in a short time after play resumes, the standings couldn’t look very different.

1. Washington Spirit 16 (5-1-1)
2. Portland Thorns FC 14 (4-1-2)
3. Utah Royals FC 13 (4-2-1)
4. North Carolina Courage 12 (3-2-3)
5. Chicago Red Stars 11 (3-3-2)
6. Houston Dash 11 (3-2-2)
7. Reign FC 10 (2-1-4)
8. Sky Blue FC 2 (0-5-2)
9. Orlando Pride 1 (0-7-1)

Schedule for Week 9

Resumption of NWSL play after many of the league’s players will represent their nations in the World Cup is unique because all four matches for the week will be played in one day. All times listed are Eastern and all matches can be streamed live for free on Yahoo! Sports.

Saturday, June 15

Portland Thorns FC at North Carolina Courage, 7:45 p.m.
Orlando Pride at Houston Dash, 8:30 p.m.
Sky Blue FC at Utah Royals FC, 10 p.m.
Washington Spirit at Reign FC, 10 p.m.

Sam Kerr was named Player of the Month for May on Friday. Kerr had four goals during the month, bringing her season total to six, which leads the league. The Australian forward for the Chicago Red Stars will represent her native country in the FIFA World Cup.


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