NWSL Shield chase tightens up

The four teams chasing NWSL leader Portland all moved three points closer to the Thorns, who fell to Utah, 1-0, on Friday night.

The defending champion North Carolina Courage, which still has two games in hand on the Thorns, won, 2-1, at Sky Blue FC to move to within two points of the lead.

Chicago is only four points out of the lead after its 3-0 win over the Houston Dash on Sunday.

Sam Kerr scored two first-half goals to give her 15 goals on the season and is all but assured of winning the NWSL scoring title for the third year in a row. Savannah McCaskill had the third Chicago goal.

Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell denied Chicago a fourth goal when she saved Yuki Nagasato's penalty kick in the 84th minute, setting the NWSL single-season record with her fourth penalty save of the year.

Reign FC also won, defeating Orlando, 3-1, in Megan Rapinoe's first appearance in the NWSL in 2019.

NWSL Standings:
1. Portland, 36 points (20).
Schedule: Sept. 11 NC Courage, Sept. 21 Houston, Sept. 29 at Reign FC, Oct. 12 Washington.

2.
NC Courage
, 34 points (18).
Schedule: Sept. 11 at Portland, Sept. 14 Orlando, Sept. 17 Houston, Sept. 21 at Utah, Sept. 28 at Washington, Oct. 12 Sky Blue FC.

3.
Chicago
, 32 points (20)
Schedule: Sept. 11 Orlando, Sept. 15 Sky Blue FC, Sept. 21 Washington, Sept. 28 Utah.

4.
Utah
, 31 points (19)
Schedule: Sept. 13 at Houston, Sept. 18 at Reign FC, Sept. 21 NC Courage, Sept. 28 at Chicago, Oct. 12 Houston.

5.
Reign FC
, 30 points (19)
Schedule: Sept. 14 at Washington, Sept. 18 Utah, Sept. 21 Sky Blue FC, Sept. 29 Portland, Oct. 12 at Orlando.

6.
Washington
, 25 points (18)
Schedule: Sept. 14 Reign FC, Sept. 21 at Chicago, Sept. 25 at Houston, Sept. 28 NC Courage, Oct. 5 at Orlando, Oct. 12 at Portland.

7.
Houston
, 22 points (19)
Schedule: Sept. 13 Utah, Sept. 17 at NC Courage, Sept. 21 at Portland, Sept. 25 Washington, Oct. 12 at Utah.

8.
Sky Blue FC
, 16 points (20)
Schedule: Sept. 15 Chicago, Sept. 21 at Reign FC, Sept. 29 Orlando, Oct. 12 at NC Courage.

9.
Orlando
, 14 points (19)
Schedule: Sept. 11 Chicago, Sept. 14 at NC Courage, Sept. 29 at Sky Blue FC, Oct. 5 Washington, Oct. 12 Reign FC.
Note: In parentheses are games played.

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