Sophia Smith’s first National Women’s Soccer League hat trick propelled the defending league champion Portland Thorns to a 4-1 road victory over the Kansas City Current on Saturday.
The rematch of the 2022 NWSL championship was played in front of 11,301 fans at Children’s Mercy Park, a home-opening record for the Current.
The Current, missing 10 players due to injury, struggled early on. In the 3rd minute, Thorns midfielder Crystal Dunn got on the end of Sam Coffey’s corner kick and fired a hard shot into the upper near-post corner. Smith’s penalty kick in the 18th minute gave Portland (2-0-0) a 2-0 lead at halftime.
After managing just one shot in the first half, Kansas City (0-2-0) came out with renewed energy to start the second. CeCe Kizer got a goal back for the Current in the 58th minute, heading in a free kick taken by Alex Loera.
As Kansas City tried to find an equalizer, Smith evaded the pressure of four Current defenders and poked in her second goal in the 84th minute. Four minutes later, the forward got her hat trick with a solo effort that started at the half and ended with a shot from the top of the 18-yard box.
Smith, 22, became the third-youngest player to score an NWSL hat trick and now has four goals in two matches.
HOUSTON DASH 2, CHICAGO RED STARS 1
On a cold and windy afternoon in Bridgeview, Illinois, Houston’s Diana Ordonez scored the game-winning penalty in the 60th minute, marking the first time two Mexican players scored in a match for the same NWSL club.
María Sánchez scored for the Dash (1-0-1) in the fourth minute, tapping in a pass from Ebony Salmon.
Chicago (0-2-0) equalized 15 minutes later when Mallory Swanson’s corner kick was deflected into the goal.
The Red Stars nearly found a last-minute equalizer, but Houston defender Allysha Chapman flicked the shot over the goal with her head.
RACING LOUISVILLE 2, WASHINGTON SPIRIT 2
After going down 2-0 at halftime, Racing Louisville (0-0-2) newcomers Abby Erceg and Ary Borges helped spark a comeback draw at home against the Washington Spirit (1-0-1).
Both Spirit goals came from Ashley Hatch, with assists from Dorian Bailey and Trinity Rodman.
Racing Louisville got on the scoresheet early in the second half, with Erceg heading in Wang Shuang’s corner kick. Borges pounced on a loose ball in the 64th, sending a shot into the upper corner to level the match.
Rookie Paige Metayer was given a second yellow card in the final minutes and will miss the Spirit’s next match.
OL REIGN 2, NJ/NY GOTHAM FC 0
After a 90-minute weather delay, goals from Jess Fishlock and Bethany Balcer gave OL Reign (1-1-0) a comfortable road win at New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena.
A string of quick, one-touch passing from the Reign found Fishlock at the top of the 18-yard box, and the Welsh midfielder scored with a one-touch shot. Rose Lavelle made the final pass to Fishlock, who became the first player to score a goal every season since the league’s inaugural season in 2013.
Balcer got her foot on a loose ball in the box, putting the Reign up 2-0 in the 62nd minute.
The Reign didn’t allow a shot on goal all match.
SAN DIEGO WAVE 3, NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE 1
Alex Morgan scored twice to lead San Diego over North Carolina.
Jaedyn Shaw scored in the 39th minute, running onto a flicked header from Taylor Kornieck and putting a left-footed shot into the corner at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium.
Ten minutes later, Danielle Colaprico picked off a ball in the midfield and found Morgan, who finished in the right corner. Morgan’s second goal was a penalty in the 73rd minute, which was awarded to San Diego (2-0-0) after a long VAR review for a handball in the box. The Wave forward now has three goals in two games.
Kerolin got one back for the Courage (1-1-0) shortly after, finishing a penalty of her own.
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