NWSL Matchweek 12 & UWS Matchweek 4

Catch up on all of the action from the NWSL and UWS!

Welcome back to another exciting edition of Goalside Gossip, your ultimate source for all things women's soccer!

Because last week was a quiet one, it is only fitting that this week be a goal fest. There were so many goals between the NWSL and the UWS, it was hard for us to keep up with all of the action. But don’t worry, we got you covered.

What to expect on this week’s edition of Goalside Gossip:

  1. NWSL - Chicago Red Stars Break Records

  2. NWSL - KC Current vs Seattle Reign

  3. NWSL - SD Wave vs Orlando Pride

  4. NWSL - Sophia Smith Catches Her First Red

  5. UWS - Our Favorite Matches

  6. Player Spotlight - Croix Bethune

As always, we have more in store with exclusive player interviews, tactical breakdowns, and a closer look at how teams are gearing up for upcoming matches. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's blend of Goals, Gossip, and Glory from the world of women's soccer. Whether you're a seasoned fan or new to the sport, there's something here for everyone as we celebrate the passion and skill of these incredible athletes.


Chicago Red Stars Break Records

The Chicago Red Stars set a new NWSL attendance record with 35,038 fans at Wrigley Field, marking the first women's sports event at the historic venue in 80 years. Despite the rainy weather and a narrow 1-2 loss to Bay FC, the atmosphere was electric, showcasing the rising popularity of women's soccer. Fans enjoyed a free family fan fest with activities, food, and entertainment before the match. The event highlighted the growing support for women's sports, with many hoping for more matches at the iconic venue.

Joelle Anderson scored the decisive goal in the 79th minute, leading Bay FC to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars before a record-breaking crowd of 35,038 at Wrigley Field. Anderson's close-range shot found the net past Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher, giving Bay FC a 2-0 lead. Despite Penelope Hocking's late goal for Chicago in extra time, Bay FC held on to secure the win. Defender Kiki Pickett also scored for Bay FC in the 25th minute. The match marked the first professional women's sporting event at Wrigley Field since 1943 and set a new NWSL attendance record, surpassing the previous record of 34,130 set in Seattle. This victory allowed Bay FC to avenge their earlier 2-1 loss to Chicago on May 5 and placed them tied for 10th in the league standings.

KC Current vs Seattle Reign (5-2)

The Kansas City Current defeated Seattle Reign FC 5-2 at CPKC Stadium, with a dominant second-half performance that featured three goals. Despite a 2-2 halftime score due to two mistakes, the Current surged ahead with goals from Vanessa DiBernardo and Temwa Chawinga within the first 90 seconds of the second half, and a penalty kick by Lo LaBonta in the 67th minute. The match, attended by notable figures like Chiefs coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, helped the Current reclaim the top spot in the NWSL standings. Coach Vlatko Andonovski emphasized the team's mindset at halftime, which spurred their strong second-half response. The Current remain unbeaten this season, showcasing resilience and aggressive play, especially in extended stoppage time.

SD Wave vs Orlando Pride (1-1)

San Diego Wave FC tied 1-1 with Orlando Pride at Snapdragon Stadium, coming from behind with a second-half goal by Makenzy Doniak in the 62nd minute, following Orlando’s initial lead from Julie Doyle's 36th-minute volley. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made her 500th career regular season save, becoming the youngest in NWSL history to reach this milestone. The match ended Orlando’s eight-game win streak and featured Alex Morgan’s return as captain after an injury, donning a special armband for Pride Month. Both teams united to raise awareness for Wear Orange, promoting the end of gun violence. San Diego Wave FC's next match is an away game against the Washington Spirit on June 15 (we’ll be there!).

Sophia Smith Catches A Red

Sophia Smith received her first career red card in quirky fashion during Portland Thorns' 1-0 win over North Carolina Courage. After scoring the only goal, Smith was booked twice for time-wasting, including this playful attempt to hide the ball under the bench. Despite being subbed out to avoid further cards, her antics led to a second yellow card, resulting in a red. Unfortunately, this means the Thorns will be without their star striker AND injured midfielder Sam Coffey against Seattle Reign on Sunday.

NWSL Updated Table

United Women’s Soccer (UWS)

As the new official partner of the UWS, we will be covering some players, games and stories from the United Women’s Soccer League. We encourage everyone to go check out their website and find your favorite team.

Week 4 from the UWS has came and went and although it was hard to choose, here are our favorite games from this past match week in the UWS:

Rockford Raptors vs Indiana United (2-0)

The Raptors managed to defeat Indiana United on Saturday June 8th. Isabel Caesar and Brooke Parnello each netted one.

Connecticut Rush vs New York Magic (6-3)

In a game that was filled to the brim with goals, Connecticut Rush defeated New York Magic with a score of 6-3. For Connecticut, Hannah Curtin had a hat-trick while Mary Lundregan had two and Molly Andrews had one. For the magic, Natsuki Murakami had two while Yalitza Juani-Martinez had one.  

Santa Clarita Blue Heat FC vs Players SC (6-0)

SC Blue Heat FC made a statement in their first home game of the season defeating Players SC by a score of 6 to 0. Cameron Valladares had two for SC Blue Heat FC including this very shifty finish.

Visit the UWS website if you want to catch up on a full action-packed weekend from the UWS.

Player Spotlight: Croix Bethune

Croix Bethune, born on March 14, 2001, is a standout attacking midfielder for the Washington Spirit in the NWSL. Her early life was shaped by her family's military background, with both parents serving in the United States Air Force. Bethune began playing soccer at a young age, even competing with boys while her family lived in England. She played for Concorde Fire Soccer Club in Atlanta, where she was named to the national Best XI in 2017 and 2018. Despite multiple ACL injuries, Bethune made a significant impact in college soccer, playing for the USC Trojans and later the Georgia Bulldogs.

At USC, Bethune was a two-time first-team All-American and the Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year, known for her flashy playing style and leadership as team captain. She transferred to the University of Georgia for the 2023 season, where she led the team to its first postseason title in program history at the SEC tournament. Her college career was marked by resilience and remarkable performances, including a memorable game-winning goal in the SEC semifinals, which earned her the tournament's most valuable player award.

Bethune was selected third overall in the 2024 NWSL Draft by the Washington Spirit, where she quickly made her mark. She scored her first professional goal in stoppage time against Bay FC and continued to shine with multiple goals and assists, earning the NWSL Rookie of the Month honors for March/April and May 2024. Internationally, Bethune has represented the United States at various youth levels, including the U-15, U-17, and U-23 teams, and was recently called up to her first senior national team camp in June 2024. Her resilience, skill, and determination have established her as a rising star in women's soccer.

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