20-year-old Michelle Cooper, No. 2 pick in the draft, scores fastest NWSL goal ever

When it comes to rookies in the National Women's Soccer League, most of the discussion has centered around No. 1 overall pick Alyssa Thompson. The headlines write themselves when you're talking about an 18-year-old who's already scored some spectacular goals for Angel City and is challenging for the USWNT World Cup squad.

But what about No. 2 overall pick Michelle Cooper, the forward who won the 2022 Hermann Trophy as the nation's best college player with 19 goals and 11 assists in 22 games during her sophomore season at Duke?

The 20-year-old hadn't scored in her first 11 league appearances for the Kansas City Current, but on Sunday her first NWSL goal was truly historic — it was the fastest goal in the league's 11-year history.

Officially timed at just 22 seconds, Cooper gave the Current an astonishingly early lead against the Washington Spirit at Children's Mercy Park. It was Debinha's pass that troubled the Spirit's defense, and Inès Jaurena could only watch on in horror as she inadvertently played Cooper through on net. 

Despite Debinha adding a second for KC in the 23rd minute, their 2-0 lead wouldn't hold. Ashley Sanchez pulled one back for the Spirit in the 36th before Paige Metayer struck in the 82nd minute and Tara McKeown found the winner in the 87th for an epic comeback from the visitors.

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