With one week left in the regular season, the race to the NWSL playoffs remains tight.
Four teams have locked up their postseason berths, with help from stellar plays, while four other teams remain in the running for the final two spots in the six-team bracket.
Kornieck was in the right place at the right time Sunday, slotting in a late-game equalizer against the Orlando Pride to help clinch a crucial standings point and San Diego’s playoff berth.
The Wave midfielder was perched in the box, waiting to pounce on her team’s set piece, before punching in a loose ball. With the goal, the Wave drew level with the Pride in the 87th minute.
the goal that sent us to the playoffs‼️pic.twitter.com/JEnBjU6aEW— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) September 26, 2022
the goal that sent us to the playoffs‼️pic.twitter.com/JEnBjU6aEW
With the 2-2 tie, San Diego became the first expansion club to advance to the NWSL playoffs.
While coach Casey Stoney expressed excitement about the club’s postseason berth, she was sober in her assessment of the team’s performance Sunday.
“We set our standards our expectations high and these players and my staff we want to achieve it so there’s just disappointment on the performance,” Stoney said. “I have to be extremely proud of how far we’ve come in a short space and time.”
Debinha put on a show Saturday, logging a hat trick to lift the North Carolina Courage to a 3-0 win over Gotham FC to put her team in postseason position. With the win, the Courage control their own destiny heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
Of Debinha’s three quality finishes, perhaps the most impressive goal came in the 34th minute, when she volleyed a perfectly weighted ball past Gotham keeper Michelle Betos.
.@Debinha7 things. pic.twitter.com/bOEL9xV3OR— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) September 25, 2022
.@Debinha7 things. pic.twitter.com/bOEL9xV3OR
The 30-year-old’s remarkable showing earned the praise of coach Sean Nahas, who said Debinha is on a “different level.”
“Not sure there is a better player in the world right now,” Nahas said in a Twitter post after Saturday’s match.
Debinha now has 12 goals on the season, tied with Portland’s Sophia Smith for second in the Golden Boot race behind Alex Morgan, who leads the league with 15 goals.
Lo’eau LaBonta continued to make her case for NWSL MVP as she helped the Kansas City Current to a 3-0 win Sunday over the Washington Spirit.
The shutout victory was critical for Kansas City, as it secured the Current a place in the NWSL postseason.
LaBonta opened the scoring in the 18th minute, striking a rocket from the top of the box for the go-ahead goal. The 29-year-old ran to the corner flag to revel in her banger, with one of the inventive goal celebrations that has become customary for the Current.
LaBonta has seven goals and four assists through 19 matches played, anchoring a surging Current side through the 2022 campaign.
You’re a legend, @L0momma ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/O68jnfY72s— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) September 25, 2022
You’re a legend, @L0momma ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/O68jnfY72s
Portland’s Taylor Porter put the ball on a string, one-timing a worldie to the upper 90 to help the Thorns to a 3-0 win Sunday over the Chicago Red Stars.