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WoSo wows: The 6 wildest games in NWSL history

ISI Photos-Stephen Brashear

Goalkeeper diving headers, hat tricks and nine-goal thrillers. Are you not entertained?!

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It’s the year 2017, and as the kids say, women’s soccer is lit. The action in the NWSL, a league marked by parity and a flair for the dramatic, keeps reaching new level of excitement.

Here’s a look back at the six craziest games in National Women's Soccer League history.

6. The Six-Goal First Half: Portland Thorns vs. Boston Breakers, July 20, 2014

Providence Park provides the Portland Thorns with the greatest home environment in the NWSL, but with upwards of 17,000 fans at most matches, opponents are also often inspired by the atmosphere. It only makes sense, then, that a number of the most exciting games in NWSL history unfolded there.

The first on this list is a match-up which saw nine total goals, the most in NWSL history. Six of those were scored in the opening half as the two teams battled back and forth before Christine Sinclair completed the first-ever Thorns hat trick to seal the win.

Boston had set the pace in the first half, but couldn’t keep it up in the second, allowing the Thorns to score three unanswered goals. Just 32 seconds after halftime, Sinclair completed her hat trick to give the Thorns their first lead of the night.

Alex Morgan would get on the score sheet minutes later, while substitute Jess McDonald scored the craziest goal of the night — and her favorite in her career — in the 89th minute when she nutmegged not one but two defenders on her way to scoring the Thorns’ sixth and final goal.

Full time: Thorns 6, Breakers 3

5. The Long-Range, Stoppage-Time Equalizer: Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Kansas City, July 14, 2013

Most teams would feel pretty comfortable being up two goals and a player inside the final five minutes of regulation time, but no lead should ever be too comfortable, as FC Kansas City can attest.

FCKC all but had three points in the bag after Erika Tymrak spearheaded a 3-v-1 counter and knocked in a goal to give the Blues a 3-1 lead in the 86th minute. To add insult to injury, Red Stars defender Taryn Hemmings went down with a knee injury on the play, forcing Chicago to finish the game down a player, since it was were out of substitutions.

But Ella Masar kept the home team’s hopes alive when she headed in a 90th-minute free kick to pull her team within one. Then, in stoppage time, goalkeeper Erin McLeod booted a long ball back into the Red Stars’ final third, where it was bounced around before landing at the feet of midfielder Lori Chalupny, who calmly blasted the ball past Nicole Barnhart for the equalizer with less than 30 seconds to spare.

It was the second time in only a few weeks that FCKC blew a late lead after Sky Blue’s Monica Ocampo scored twice after the 85th minute.

Full time: FC Kansas City 3, Red Stars 3

4. The 12-Minute Hat Trick: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City, July 8, 2017

Fans who want drama should look no further than Yurcak Field, home of Sky Blue FC and the site of six result-changing goals in the 80th minute or later this season alone. The most noteworthy of these games came on July 8, when FCKC made its second trip of the year. The visitors went up two goals at the half courtesy of a strong first-half effort from regular left-back Christina Gibbons, making her debut in the FCKC midfield, that saw her bag a goal after an assist on Katie Bowen’s 29th-minute goal.

However, a skirmish between Erica Skroski and Shea Groom during first-half stoppage time saw both players carded — a yellow for Skroski, and a red for Groom.

As the game wore on, it appeared that Kansas City, even down to 10, would hold on for the win. But then Sam Kerr embarked on one of the greatest single-player performances the league has ever seen. In the 78th minute, Kerr laid her body out into the air to get on the end of O’Hara’s beautiful service and head the ball past Barnhart.

Kerr struck again just three minutes when Daphne Corboz found Kerr in space inside the box and sent a pass that Kerr blasted between two defenders to level the score. And in the final minute of regulation time, Taylor Lytle delivereda through ball that Kerr laced into the bottom left corner. Hat trick complete in only 12 minutes, Kerr lifted Sky Blue past a two-goal deficit and to a 3-2 win.

Full time: Sky Blue 3, FC Kansas City 2

NEXT: A GK diving header and the greatest playoff game ever