The Women’s Super League kicked off its season over the weekend after a week’s delay to honor Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at 96.
The opening matches featured new names, familiar faces and stunning upsets amid a swell of excitement and record ticket sales.
Rachel Daly returned to the WSL in style.
The English international notched a brace and an assist in her debut with Aston Villa, helping her side to a 4-3 win over Manchester City.
Daly signed with the club in August, ending her six-season stint with the NWSL’s Houston Dash.
It took just 22 minutes with her new club for Daly to make her mark, as she assisted Alisha Lehman for Aston Villa’s opening goal. Ten minutes later, Daly buried a goal of her own, rifling a curler to put her side up 2-0.
What a peach that is from Rachel Daly 🍑Talk about instant impact for the new signing! pic.twitter.com/hFF3RPtYY0— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) September 18, 2022
What a peach that is from Rachel Daly 🍑Talk about instant impact for the new signing! pic.twitter.com/hFF3RPtYY0
Daly’s most consequential contribution, however, came in the 76th minute, when she tapped in the game-winner to secure Aston Villa a thrilling victory.
WOW 🔥Do not take your eyes off this game for one second 🍿Rachel Daly puts Villa back in front with just under 15 minutes to go! pic.twitter.com/UHz8hlgbcF— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) September 18, 2022
WOW 🔥Do not take your eyes off this game for one second 🍿Rachel Daly puts Villa back in front with just under 15 minutes to go! pic.twitter.com/UHz8hlgbcF
“Some would say a dream debut,” Daly said after the match. “Obviously it’s nice to get on the scoresheet not one but twice, but importantly three points at Villa Park in front of a great crowd.”
Beth Mead is on a tear, riding momentum from the Euros into the WSL season.
The England national team forward logged two goals and an assist while creating four chances in Arsenal’s 4-0 shutout over Brighton.
Both of Mead’s goals came in the second half, as she buried her first in the 63rd minute and her second in the 83rd minute.
The 27-year-old’s impressive season opener comes after a breakthrough 2022 Euro tournament in which Mead clinched the Golden Boot award, logging six goals and five assists for the Lionesses.
Beth Mead put Arsenal four up against Brighton in the 83rd minute!pic.twitter.com/KIQQL9Mtuc— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) September 16, 2022
Beth Mead put Arsenal four up against Brighton in the 83rd minute!pic.twitter.com/KIQQL9Mtuc
Ashleigh Neville struck the rocket of the weekend, powering a long-range banger to help Tottenham to a 2-1 win over Leicester City.
The 29-year-old ripped a stunning shot from 35 yards out to put the Hotspurs up 1-0 early.
“I took that kind of touch and saw it and just thought why not,” Neville said after the match. “It went in, so yeah, happy with that.”
Simply stunning 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rArHykJX8g— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) September 18, 2022
Simply stunning 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rArHykJX8g