BY CANDY PARKER
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action continued over the weekend with four match-ups on the schedule.
In the first contest, the Washington Spirit downed visiting FC Kansas City 3-1. The Spirit’s offense was led by Diana Matheson who tallied two goals for the home team.
Matheson notched the game’s first goal early, netting a near post shot in the fourth minute. FC Kansas City responded with a tying goal in the 29th minute when Spirit goaltender Ashlyn Harris blocked an initial shot by Amy Rodriguez, but had no chance when Rodriguez took aim on the rebound.
Matheson scored her second goal in the 38th minute, putting Washington ahead for good on an assist from Crystal Dunn. Christine Nairn added an insurance goal for the Spirit shortly before the half to take the 3-1 lead. Neither team was able to generate offense in the second half though FC Kansas City was able to create pressure on the Spirit with the insertion of Frances Silva and Jenna Richmond midway through the second half.
FC Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit highlights
Meanwhile in Chicago, the Red Stars were victorious in their 2014 season opener, defeating the Western New York Flash 1-0. Defender Julie Johnson netted the winning goal for the Red Stars in the 59th minute off a corner kick from Vanessa DiBernardo in a contest marked by balanced possessions by the clubs.
Western New York Flash vs. Chicago Red Stars highlights
Saturday’s final contest saw Sky Blue FC play to a 1-1 draw against visiting Portland Thorns FC. USWNT stars Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) and Allie Long (Portland) were the lone goal scorers in the game. Rampone struck in the 26th minute off a corner kick and Long drew even for Portland with a penalty kick shot in the 75th minute.
Sky Blue FC had a chance to take the win during second half stoppage time when Portland was called for a handball inside the box following a corner kick. Kelley O’Hara took the attempt for Sky Blue FC, but missed wide left.
Portland Thorn FC vs. Sky Blue FC highlights
NWSWL weekend action wrapped up Sunday in Boston as the Breakers hosted the Houston Dash. Houston downed the home team 3-2, handing Boston their second loss of the season.
Houston Dash vs. Boston Breakers highlights
Boston struck early, with Heather O’Reilly sending a rebound shot into the net in the first minute after Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod made a stop on O’Reilly’s initial attempt. The Breakers took the early lead into the half, but Houston tied it up early in the second half, with Ella Massar sending a loose ball into the Boston net at the 50 minute mark.
Boston responded with a goal by Joanna Lohman in the 70th minute and Houston tied it up again at the 81st minute mark on a goal by Teresa Noyola. The decisive score came with Noyola’s second goal just four minutes later on a penalty kick after Rafaelle Souza was tripped by Courtney Jones while dribbling through the box. Noyola drilled the penalty shot into the lower right corner, just beyond the reach of Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Upcoming games in the NWSL:
Wednesday, April 23
Washington Spirit at Seattle Reign FC
Saturday, April 26
Washington Spirit at Chicago Red Stars
FC Kansas City at Portland Thorns FC
Sunday, April 27
Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers
Houston Dash at Seattle Reign FC