We’re halfway through the 2021 NWSL regular season and there isn’t much separating the teams on the table. Here are the top three players of Week 8.
OL Reign was in pretty desperate need of a win, having lost five of their last six matches going into the matchup against Kansas City. It didn’t take long for Balcer to get the Reign on the board, finding the back of the net in the third minute. The former NWSL Rookie of the Year, intercepted the pass from Barnhart to her defender and slotted her right-footed shot into the bottom left corner. That wasn’t the end of Balcer’s impressive day though, in the 29th minute she headed a Sofia Huerta cross into the back of the net.
— OL Reign (@OLReign) July 12, 2021
Haracic has come up big for Gotham FC this season when she’s been called upon. Sunday against the Portland Thorns was no different. It’s difficult to keep Portland off the scoreboard but even more so when you have to go to Portland and do it in one of the toughest NWSL environments. She had a busy afternoon facing 22 shots, six of which were on goal. Portland also had 11 corner kicks in the match. Haracic came up with some huge saves to help get Gotham out of Providence Park with a point in the 0-0 tie.
The Washington Spirit cracked the code to the North Carolina Courage defense in their 2-0 win at Audi Field. Ashley Hatch got the brace but Sanchez was active throughout the game. The youngster got unlucky to not find the back of the net in that one. She was denied by the crossbar and a truly terrific save from NC goalkeeper, Casey Murphy. Sanchez had seven shots, the most of her NWSL career so far. She was excellent all game, on the ball and off the ball.