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NWSL Golden Boot update: Alex Morgan surges ahead

San Diego Wave FC forward Alex Morgan (13) controls the ball against Portland Thorns FC during the second half at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Morgan is determined to maintain her place atop the NWSL goal scorers list, notching her 13th goal in her 15th regular-season appearance Saturday.

The San Diego Wave forward helped her team to a critical 2-0 win over the Portland Thorns to reclaim their spot at the top of the table.

The 33-year-old stamped her name on the scoresheet in the 42nd minute, running in the path of a brilliantly executed headed flick-on from Taylor Kornieck. Splitting the Portland defenders, Morgan slipped through the backline before finishing off Kornieck’s ball with poise.

“She’s been exceptional,” San Diego head coach Casey Stoney said of Morgan following Saturday’s win. “On and off the pitch. Her leadership in and around the environment, the way she has performed on the field, is some of the best I’ve seen in her league career.”

U.S. Women’s National Team teammate Mallory Pugh is working to close the gap with Morgan, logging a brace in the Chicago Red Star’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Racing Louisville on Saturday.

Pugh’s pair of finishes brings her goals tally to eight on the season, just three behind North Carolina’s Diana Ordonez and Portland’s Sophia Smith.

Both of the 24-year-old’s goals showcase her unique field awareness, ability to get in behind, and, of course, her world-class technical finishing. Pugh’s eight goals add to her league-leading five assists.

Ordonez, who has scored 11 goals in 12 regular season matches, will have a chance to challenge Morgan’s Golden Boot lead when the Courage takes on Kansas City on Sunday night.