NWSL Plays of the Week: USWNT stars shine bright

Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring a goal Friday for OL Reign. (Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports)

The NWSL was back in action this week, with the San Diego Wave reclaiming the top stop in the league standings.

U.S. women’s national team stars were out in full force across the league, looking to be in top form heading into the next international window.

NWSL plays of the week

Megan Rapinoe’s lofted assist and game-winner

Megan Rapinoe is not done changing games and busting out top-notch celebrations.

The 37-year-old helped put OL Reign on the board in the 37th minute, flicking a ball up over her defender before turning and serving a perfectly weighted curling ball to Bethany Balcer.

Rapinoe added her own tally later, tapping in a lofted ball at the far post in the 92nd minute for the walk-off game-winner, inspiring the OL Reign striker to rip off her kit in an epic celebration.

The veteran striker has four goals and three assists through nine appearances with OL Reign.

“I feel like I’m playing well, I feel like the team is playing really well,” Rapinoe told reporters after Friday’s 2-1 win. “I feel like I’m getting the ball in really dangerous positions,” adding that she feels back to herself after nagging injuries slowed her start to the season.

Alex Morgan’s left-footed shot

Alex Morgan added to her Golden Boot lead Saturday, leading San Diego to a 2-0 shutout over Portland.

The Wave striker doubled her side’s advantage in the 42nd minute, splitting the Thorns backline before rifling in a flicked-on ball from Taylor Kornieck.

The 33-year-old’s left-footed finish marks her 13th goal of the season, placing her atop the NWSL.

“She’s been exceptional,” San Diego 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.”

Mallory Pugh’s brace

Mallory Pugh is in tremendous form, as she showcased with her two goals and two assists in the Chicago Red Stars’ 4-0 shutout Saturday over Racing Louisville.

The 24-year-old got on the board early, putting away her first goal in the third minute after making a well-timed run and slotting home a precise finish.

Pugh’s second goal of the night came in the 73rd minute, again splitting the Louisville defense before striking a clinical finish.

After Saturday’s shutout, the USWNT forward now boasts eight goals and five assists on the season.