NWSL wrap: Williams' shutout, Kerr stars for Chicago

A setback for a couple of Westfield Matildas in the battle for top spot but there was better news for the likes of Lydia Williams, Katrina Gorry and Sam Kerr on an action-packed weekend in the National Women's Soccer League in the US.

There was an Aussie v Aussie battle in Seattle, while Kerr's assist eased Chicago to three points against Washington.

It's all here in our NWSL wrap.


It was an opportunity for Orlando Pride to bounce back from a midweek loss and potentially close the gap on the top spot, but it wasn’t to be.

A furious first-half from North Carolina saw them knock in three goals – a lead they didn’t relinquish in their comfortable 3-0 victory.

Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy were the key cogs in the centre of the Orlando midfield but ultimately were unable to do enough to stem a rampant Courage outfit.

The result saw Orlando slip one place to third, while North Carolina extended their lead at the top of the table to an incredible 13 points.


It was a top-four battle which had a distinct Aussie flavour and in the end it took a late, late goal to separate the two sides.

And it was Seattle who got the decisive breakthrough, the 1-0 win over the Thorns seeing them move up into second spot and pushing Portland out of the top four.

Keeper Lydia Williams and defender Steph Catley, were superb for the Reign and were delighted with the clean sheet and the three points against tough opposition.

Neither were involved in England international Jodie Taylor’s 89th minute winner, but it did mean broken hearts for Westfield Matildas duo Hayley Raso and Ellie Carpenter who both turned out for Portland.


There was happiness for at least one Aussie on in the Sunday afternoon (AEST) fixtures as Utah cruised to a 3-1 victory over a struggling Sky Blue FC.

Three goals inside the first half hour, including two to Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League striker Katie Stengel secured the big win for Utah.

Katrina Gorry played a touch over 70 minutes in the midfield for Utah, and praised the way that a speedy attack opened up the game.

“In the first half, we played the ball around which created our own space,” said Gorry, speaking to club media after the match.

“We’ve got a lot of speed up front, with Kristen and if we create enough space she gets on the ball and she makes opportunities.

“For us midfielders, it [speed up front] makes their backline drop deeper which gives us more space and freedom on the ball.

“The more focus there is on them, the less focus on us and the more ball we get.”


Red Stars shot up the ladder on Monday morning (AEST) with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over second-last Washington.

Kerr was in the middle of it all, playing a full 90 minutes and even set up Yūki Nagasato for Chicago’s second, although she didn’t manage to score herself.

It was a nice assist from Kerr, who received the ball on the centre circle and used her speed to beat her marker and race away towards goal.

Her cross back in found a diving Nagasato, who put away a fantastic diving header to make it two in the 60th minute.