NWSL Fall Series: Top Plays From a Decisive Weekend

MONTCLAIR, NJ - OCTOBER 10: Kailen Sheridan #1 of Sky Blue FC dives for a ball during a game between Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC at MSU Soccer Park at Pittser Field on October 10, 2020 in Montclair, New Jersey.

While there’s still two games to go in the NWSL’s Fall Series, the top two teams have already been decided: Portland is walking away with the Verizon Community Shield and a $25,000 for local business Mimi’s Fresh Tees. The Houston Dash will take second after previously winning the Challenge Cup this summer. Their $15,000 grant will be going to the Houston chapter of the NAACP.

As we look ahead to the final two games this Saturday, here’s a look back at the top plays from the weekend.



The vision shown here by Sarah Woldmoe is what we soccer fans live for. Turning upfield, Woldmoe threads a brilliant ball between the backline of Chicago. Outside forward Paige Monaghan beats her mark in a footrace to the ball, chipping it into the box to teammate Ifeoma Onumonu, who collects it off her waist before sliding it past the keeper. Omumonu’s goal, her third in four games, doubled Sky Blue’s lead, helping the club wrap up its Fall Series with a 3-1 win over the Red Stars.



Leroux may be number two on the field, but she’s number one in our hearts. Just at the start of the second half, Orlando plays a quick ball down the line to Abby Elinsky, who hits a one-time cross into the six. Leroux beats her defender to the ball and roofs it over the keepers’ hands, cutting Houston’s lead in half. Leroux’s goal was unfortunately, not quite enough, as Houston walked away with a 2-1 victory over Orlando. But regardless of the outcome, we’re psyched to see Leroux back on the scoreboard.





Brittany Wilson made her NWSL debut this past Friday for the Orlando Pride, and she proved she deserves to play in the big leagues. Sophie Schmidt of Houston Dash receives the ball from a throw-in, takes a touch, and hammers a curling shot into the upper corner near the back post. But reading Schmidt’s shot perfectly, Wilson sticks out her paw and pushes the ball safely out of play. The 23 year old’s epic save kept the Pride in the game, and we have a feeling that’s not the last time we’ll be talking about Wilson making a difference.



Groom had one of the goals of the Challenge Cup when she climbed the ladder to bury a clutch header into the back of the net. Don’t look now, but she’s done it again. This time we can’t act surprised. Brianna Visalli initiates the action by winning a tackle in her defensive end before dishing the ball ahead to Kristie Mewis. In a full sprint, Mewis catches up to the ball before floating it into the box. Groom heads it with authority, knocking the ball into the back of the corner, reminding everyone why she’s the league’s second leading scorer, and Mewis is first in assists. Groom’s header put Houston on the fast track in their 2-1 win over the Orlando Pride.