Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr scored a fine double and was denied a hat-trick but was unable to prevent Chicago Red Stars from falling to Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond’s Orlando pride in a seven-goal thriller.
Also in the National Women’s Soccer League, Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams was back between the sticks for Seattle Reign as they returned to winning ways against Sky Blue FC.
Plus, Ellie Carpenter’s Portland Thorns won on Saturday against Katrina Gorry’s Utah Royals.
Here’s a wrap of the weekend NWSL action involving a host of Aussies!
CHICAGO RED STARS 2-5 ORLANDO PRIDE
Sam Kerr scored twice for Chicago Red Stars but it wasn’t enough as Orlando Pride continued their impressive form on the road to win 5-2.
In a game where both Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond played in midfield for Orlando, Pride managed to take a two goal lead in a topsy-turvy game of the round before Kerr launched a comeback for Red Stars.
Westfield W-League and Perth Glory star Rachel Hill opened the scoring for Pride in just the second minute with snap shot from inside the box, before United States national team star Alex Morgan made it 2-0 inside six minutes.
But Kerr began Red Stars’ comeback with a 21stminute goal, redeeming herself for a missed one-on-one opportunity almost instantly.
Kerr again struck 15 minutes after the break to make it 2-2 and could have also had an assist after squaring the ball to Michele Vasconcelos who missed an open goal from point blank range.
Despite Kerr’s best efforts, Orlando stepped up a gear and Sydney Leroux struck twice in two minutes – with van Egmond playing a pivotal part in Orlando’s fourth goal.
But Chicago still weren’t out of the game and Kerr was denied a hat-trick on 79 minute which would have made it an enthralling final 10 minutes.
Instead, Orlando again scored – this time through Dani Weatherholt – to seal a 5-2 win which leaves Chicago three points outside the top four, having played one game more than Portland Thorns who are above them.
SKY BLUE 0-1 SEATTLE REIGN
Lydia Williams was back between the sticks for Seattle Reign when they travelled to Sky Blue FC, earning a 1-0 win to recover from a midweek loss to Houston Dash.
Seattle opted to rest fellow Westfield Matilda Steph Catley, who wasn’t in the matchday squad, and Williams impressed again after re-earning her spot in place of former Westfield W-League star Michelle Betos.
Williams made a clutch ninth minute save to prevent Sky Blue’s Carli Lloyd and was then called into action again in the 33rdminute to ensure Seattle went into the break level.
Seattle then grabbed the game’s only goal in the 64thminute via United States international Megan Rapinoe, who fired into the bottom corner from close range.
The win sees Seattle remain in second spot, two points above third placed Orlando with a game in hand, but still nine points off runaway leaders North Carolina Courage.
PORTLAND THORNS 2-0 UTAH ROYALS
Ellie Carpenter started on the right wing for Portland Thorns in their 2-0 win over Katrina Gorry’s Utah Royals in a result which sees the Thorns move into fourth on the NWSL ladder.
Carpenter, who has already earned records as the NWSL’s youngest debutant and goalscorer at just 18 this season, has now started three of Portland’s last four matches as they still prepare for the return of fellow Westfield Matildas Hayley Raso and Caitlin Foord.
In Foord’s and Raso’s absence, the Thorns still have the firepower of legendary Canadian striker Christine Sinclair who scored her sixth goal of the season so far in the 18thminute to open the scoring against Utah.
Portland then doubled their lead via Lindsey Horan just before half-time and held out for the win, with Gorry playing the full game for Utah.