Wave clinches first NWSL playoff berth with victory over Thorns
Kyra Carusa and Alex Morgan both scored and the San Diego Wave moved into the top spot in the National Women's Soccer League standings and became the first team to clinch a playoff berth with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Thorns on Saturday night.
It was San Diego's league-best sixth road win this season.
Carusa scored in the 20th minute off a cross from 18-year-old Jaedyn Shaw. Morgan added a goal in the 38th minute on a header that bounced into to the goal out of the reach of Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby. The goal ended an eight-match streak without a goal for Morgan.
“I think all around it was a huge performance from every single one of us on the field today,” Wave midfielder Danielle Colaprico said. “Coming into it, we knew it was going to be a 90-minute game. We had to play through every minute of it. It wasn't going to be easy, it never is coming to Portland.”
The Thorns (9-6-5) were without Sophia Smith, the league’s leading scorer with 11 goals, who is still nursing a mild MCL sprain.
It was just the second loss at home this season for the Thorns. Portland now has to wait to secure a spot in the playoffs for the seventh straight season. The Thorns could clinch as soon as Monday, with a win or draw by the Orlando Pride against Angel City.
San Diego improved to 10-7-3 with the win. The two teams were 1-1-1 in the previous three meetings this season.
WASHINGTON SPIRIT 2, KANSAS CITY CURRENT 1
Trinity Rodman scored in the 91st minute and the Spirit came from behind for the win at home over Current.
Debinha put the Current ahead in the 21st minute, converting a penalty kick after Michelle Cooper was taken down in the box. The Brazilian now has eight goals this season.
Ouleymata Sarr tied it for the Spirit in the 52nd, scoring her first NWSL goal. Tara McKeown collected a corner kick at the far post and dropped the ball to Sarr at the top of the 18-yard box, and she scored on a low, driven shot into the left corner. Washington has scored 10 goals from outside the box in all competitions this year, three more than any other team.
In second-half stoppage time, Gabrielle Carle sent a ball behind Kansas City's defense, and Rodman beat her defender into the box and finished into the left corner. Washington has tied or won in stoppage time a league-leading three times this season.
The Spirit (7-5-8) stays in playoff position with the win, while the Current (7-12-1) fell to last place.
RED STARS 1, LOUISVILLE 0
Bianca St-Georges scored the lone goal as the Chicago Red Stars won 1-0 at home against Racing Louisville to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Louisville had two shots ping off the crossbar before Chicago scored in the 33rd minute.
Julia Bianchi slipped a pass to St-Georges on the right wing, and the midfielder carried the ball into the box before slotting her shot into the near-post corner from a tight angle.
Louisville was initially given a penalty kick in the 59th minute, but the foul was waved off after a long video review.
Just before the final whistle, Casey Kreuger slid to clear a ball right in front of the goal to hold Racing scoreless.
Louisville (5-6-9) finished with 22 shots, while Alyssa Naeher made five saves to earn the shutout win.
Chicago (7-10-3) has lost just once in its last seven matches.
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