Boyds, MD (May 19, 2018) — The Washington Spirit fell to the visiting Portland Thorns 1-0 Saturday night in front of 3,284 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
A 68th minute strike from Thorns substitute Ellie Carpenter was the difference in an otherwise statistically even contest. Carpenter’s goal was assisted by Tobin Heath who crossed the ball from the right side which skipped across the box to Carpenter who was able to score the tap in from just inside the six-yard box.
Portland improved to 3-3-3 (12 points) on the season as Washington fell to 1-5-2 (5 points).
Washington led the contest with 14 shots and five corner kicks. The Spirit out-possessed the Thorns by a slim 50.8%-40.2% margin.
Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe recorded four saves on the evening. Her counterpart Britt Eckerstrom also recorded four saves on four Spirit shots on goal.
Mallory Pugh nearly put Washington on the board in the 20th minute when she gained possession of the ball near midfield and took the ball solo to the box facing three Thorns defenders when she was unable to muster enough on her off balanced shot.
In the 39th minute, Pugh nearly scored again when her free kick from just outside the 18-yard box curled wide.
In the 55th minute, Ashley Hatch’s contested strike inside the box went just wide to the right in her best opportunity of the evening. She led the team with five total shots in the contest.
The final ten minutes of the contest featured a barrage by the Spirit attempting to find an equalizer. The best opportunity came from substitute Mallory Eubanks who in stoppage time was able to cleanly strike a ball just outside the 18-yard box, which was saved by Thorns keeper Eckerstrom.
Washington’s back four of Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Rebecca Quinn and Taylor Smith all played the full 90 minutes in the contest.
The Spirit returns to NWSL action Wednesday, May 23 at the Maryland Soccerplex against Sky Blue FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in the weeknight contest. [TICKETS]
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs Portland Thorns
Date: May 19, 2018
Venue: Maryland Soccerplex
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Light Rain, Low 60s
POR – Ellie Carpenter (Tobin Heath) 68’
WAS (4-3-3): Aubrey Bledsoe; Rebecca Quinn; Whitney Church (c); Taylor Smith; Caprice Dydasco; Andi Sullivan; Estefania Banini (Joanna Lohman, 83’); Tori Huster; Meggie Dougherty Howard (Mallory Eubanks, 76’); Ashley Hatch (Francisca Ordega, 58’); Mallory Pugh
Subs not used: Yanara Aedo; Havana Solaun; Morgan Proffitt; Kelsey Wys
POR (3-4-3): Britt Eckerstrom; Katherine Reynolds; Emily Menges; Emily Sonnett; Midge Purce (Ellie Carpenter, 64’); Andressinha (Celeste Boureille, 72’); Meghan Klingenberg; Lindsey Horan; Tobin Heath; Christine Sinclair (c); Ana Maria Crnogorcevic (Tyler Lussi, 81’)
Subs not used: Kelli Hubly; Mallory Weber; Adelaide Gay; Ifeoma Onumonu
Stats Summary: WAS / POR
Possession: 50.8 / 49.2 %
Shots: 14 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 9
Offside: 0 / 2
POR – Lindsey Horan (Yellow Card) 85’
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referee 1: Jeffrey Skinner
Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Wooten
Fourth Official: Gary Guitierrez