While San Diego’s furious comeback against the Thorns resulted in a flurry of goals, the other main storyline in the United States (US) National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) last week has been just how good the goalkeeping is.
Angel City and the Houston Dash played to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday, and the Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit followed that with a scoreless draw on Wednesday.
While 0-0 final scorelines can indicate a level of malaise in the box, in the NWSL this year it’s more a reflection of the excellent goalkeeping standard in the league.
Angel City had a number of chances against Houston, but Jane Campbell continued her strong start to the season with a towering performance, highlighted by a quick double save preventing two goal-scoring opportunities.
On the other end of the pitch, LA’s DiDi Haračić had a number of strong saves herself, keeping the scoreline even against top attackers Nichelle Prince and Maria Sanchez.
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In the game between Chicago and Washington, tired legs played a factor in the scoreline, but key saves were still necessary.
Alyssa Naeher had to withstand a firestorm of shots early in the second half, as Washington brought on Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez to chase the win.
“Alyssa Naeher’s an insane goalkeeper,” Rodman said after the match. “We can’t hit it more to the corner than the post, (Naeher) got a fingertip to it.”
Aubrey Kingsbury lined up against Mal Pugh and got the better of the striker, as both teams hit the woodwork multiple times.
Campbell, Haračić, Naeher, and Kingsbury are just a few NWSL goalkeepers off to strong starts.
Phallon Tullis-Joyce, Kailen Sheridan, AD Franch, and others are all keeping their defenses organized and making it hard on opposing strikers.
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