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Anatomy of a Goal: Utah Royals FC’s first strike

There was a lot of good soccer that led to the first goal in team history.

It only took three minutes of the match for Utah Royals FC to show they can be a dangerous attacking team.

After weathering some pressure from Orlando, goalkeeper Abby Smith rolled the ball out to Rachel Corsie. She switched field to Elise Thorsnes, who played it back across the field to Kelley O’Hara. There is a lot of good field vision and taking advantage of the spaces the Pride gave them.

With O’Hara and Diana Matheson looking to work along the touchline in the attacking third, a really key piece of this goal is defensive midfielder Desiree Scott moving up to create a passing triangle to help her teammates work out of trouble.

After getting the ball back to Matheson, and some fine moves by the Canadian winger, striker Brittany Ratcliffe makes a smart move illustrated below to look to receive a pass. It’s a move that gets Shelina Zedorsky (circled) and Ali Krieger (marked at the left edge) to move away from their penalty area and keep them looking away from where Matheson’s cross is headed.

With the center backs both preoccupied, Gunny Jónsdóttir is free to make a run onto the cross. Dani Weatherholt made a late attempt to follow her but she was behind the play and couldn’t get between the ball and the sliding Icelander. Enjoy watching it again, as it was voted NWSL Goal of the Week.