PORTLAND, Or. — The Washington Spirit ended their first west coast road trip Sunday afternoon falling 2-0 to league-leaders Portland Thorns FC in front of 12,474 fans at JELD-WEN Field in downtown Portland.
Goals by the dynamic tandem of Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan came in the final five minutes of each half respectively after the teams played end-to-end action for the duration.
Despite hefty doses of possession for the Spirit through the midfield, the visitors failed to seriously threaten Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, but did keep her and the Thorns defense honest throughout.
Following the Spirit’s four-goal outburst in their victory over Seattle Reign Thursday night, the lack of a goal was the first game in Washington’s history the First Ladies were shut out.
Washington head coach Mike Jorden could only watch from home on this trip due to unscheduled back surgery two weeks ago but will take some comfort from the team’s first win on Thursday, and look to build on the experience through the rest of the still young season. Assistant Kris Ward lead the team this week.
Jorden wasn’t the only key member of the team missing today, as U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was a late scratch after failing a late fitness test for a sore knee. Understudy Chantel Jones made her NWSL pro debut as a result, and was very solid despite the two goals allowed.
With the loss, the Spirit move to 1-3-3 for the season, good enough to hold their sixth place position in the eight-team league. The Thorns at least temporarily continue to hold the top spot, but can be overtaken by Sky Blue FC if they win the late game Sunday and overcome the goal difference tiebreaker.
The Spirit return home on Monday, and will return to training Tuesday at their Maryland SoccerPlex home. They board a bus for Boston on Friday to meet the Breakers for third time in eight games Saturday night (7:00 p.m. ET), with the series locked at two 1-1 draws.
Three weeks of rest follow, with the Spirit returning to home action at the Maryland SoccerPlex June 15 against Western New York Flash (tickets.washingtonspirit.com), for which over 2,500 tickets have already been sold. New faces are expected by that home date, with Mexican international Lupita Worbis joining the team next week after completing college studies at home. The closing of the first summer registration window June 14 also may result in unannounced roster additions arriving for fans to get to know.
Full Box Score – http://www.nwslsoccer.com/Stats/2013/3700630.html
Club Notes: Washington Spirit Reserves W-League team won their first game of the season last night in Maryland with a 2-0 score line over Virginia Beach Piranhas. Teenage local club star and James Madison commit Ashley Herndon had the winner for her second goal in as many games. Maryland’s Ashley Spivey scored the second on a full volley to seal the win.