The final weekend of the NWSL regular season brought the drama, with the NWSL Shield and the last postseason spot up in the air.
Star players helped settle the playoff picture ahead of the start of the NWSL postseason on Oct. 16.
Yuki Nagasato sealed a playoff spot for the Chicago Red Stars with a stunning late-game individual effort. The Chicago forward faked out her defender before letting off a left-footed rocket from the top of the box to put the Red Stars up 2-0 with less than 10 minutes left to play Sunday against Angel City FC.
Chicago’s 2-0 win clinched the sixth and final NWSL playoff berth, sending the Red Stars to the postseason for the seventh straight season.
“Yuki’s the last one off the field every day, every single day,” Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher said following Sunday’s victory. “Yuki’s the last one off the field doing shooting, hitting that exact same shot that she hit tonight.”
SAUCE 🥫@Yuki_Ogimi solidifies @chicagoredstars spot in the @NWSL Playoffs 👏 pic.twitter.com/87YpHTnzs7— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) October 3, 2022
SAUCE 🥫@Yuki_Ogimi solidifies @chicagoredstars spot in the @NWSL Playoffs 👏 pic.twitter.com/87YpHTnzs7
Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring Saturday for OL Reign, putting her side up early in an NWSL Shield-clinching 3-0 win over the Orlando Pride.
The U.S. women’s national team forward found herself in space, making a well-timed run into the box to connect on a perfectly-placed pass from Jordyn Huitema.
“For us as a club, this Shield is incredibly important. This was incredibly important to us. We want to compete for everything,” Rapinoe said, adding that the team’s sights are set on clinching an ever-elusive NWSL Championship.
Too easy. @mPinoe pic.twitter.com/GkU1ORf679— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) October 2, 2022
Too easy. @mPinoe pic.twitter.com/GkU1ORf679
Sophia Smith made history in the Portland Thorns’ 3-3 draw with Gotham FC Saturday, setting the club record for goals in a season.
The 22-year-old’s brace brought her tally to 14 goals on the season, surpassing Lindsay Horan’s previous record of 13.
One minute after burying a penalty in the 44th minute, Smith expertly one-timed a cross from Hina Sugita to clinch the Thorns scoring record in style.
“It’s an honor,” Smith said of the feat. “I couldn’t do it without an amazing team and amazing coach behind me. This season has been a lot of fun, honestly. I haven’t been thinking too much about any awards or records or anything.”
In the last 2 minutes of the 1st half: @sophsssmith scores a brace and sets a @ThornsFC club record for goals scored in a single season‼️ pic.twitter.com/ykYQ2jAIcJ— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) October 2, 2022
In the last 2 minutes of the 1st half: @sophsssmith scores a brace and sets a @ThornsFC club record for goals scored in a single season‼️ pic.twitter.com/ykYQ2jAIcJ