BRYAN BYERLY/ISI PHOTOS

The first week of the NWSL Challenge Cup is officially in the books. And while the action has been good across the board, these are the best plays we saw in the first six games.

 

5. VERÓNICA BOQUETES’ LASER FREE KICK

Even a six person wall couldn’t stop Bouquet from tucking away this mind-blowing free kick, which helped the Utah Royals erase a 2-goal deficit and eventually tie the Houston Dash. What an absolute banger. Free kicks are not supposed to look this easy.

 

4. ROSE LAVELLE PICKS UP A REBOUND AND BURIES IT HOME

The season is just getting started, and so is Lavelle. Lavelle sets her teammate up on a platter, picks up the rebound, and roofs her shot to give the Washington Spirit the early lead against the Red Stars in their opening 2-1 win. Name one thing Rose Lavelle can’t do, we dare you.

 

3. NOTHING’S GETTING BY KAILEN SHERIDAN

Sheridan read the forward like a book, as she reached full extension and punched away this shot from just inside the box to preserve Sky Blue’s draw with OL Reign. I think we might have found our next Secretary of Defense.

 

2. LYNN WILLIAMS ISN’T STOPPING FOR ANYONE

Williams demonstrates her relentlessness as she withstands a ruthless slide tackle and immediately hops up, smoking her defender down the line. Using her lighting speed, she takes off to goal where she finishes with pure class and composure. Williams went on to score a brace in North Carolina’s 2-0 win over Washington.

 

1. LAUREN BARNES FLEXES HER IMPECCABLE TIMING

Barnes’ puts in work for the full 90, cutting across the box to make a phenomenal slide tackle save on a shot from point-blank range. Too bad the forward didn’t realize Barnes is a wall of steel. Her extra effort helped OL Reign secure an opening draw with Sky Blue.


The Challenge Cup resumes this weekend. Games are available on CBS All Access and via Twitch for international viewers:

  • 7/4: Utah Royals v Sky Blue, 12:30pm EST

  • 7/4: Houston Dash v OL Reign, 10:00pm EST

  • 7/5: North Carolina Courage v Chicago Red Stars, 12:30pm EST

  • 7/5: Portland Thorns v Washington Spirit, 10:00pm EST