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Leesburg, VA (08/10/2022) – The Washington Spirit finished with a 2-1 loss against Portland Thorns FC in the two sides’ second meeting of the NWSL season.
After an hour-long weather delay, the Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC were finally able to kick off at a wet Segra Field. Looking to break its streak of draws, the Spirit wasted no time establishing a high press against Thorns FC right out of the gate. With neither team generating many opportunities early on, Thorns FC would be the first to fire a shot on target. In the 14th minute, Christine Sinclair fired a shot low but it was met with a casual diving save to the left-hand side of Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury.
In the 21st minute, Trinity Rodman delivered in a tantalizing cross to the back post, finding Ashley Hatch who nodded a header toward goal but wasn’t able to find the back of the net. Thorns FC would fire back in the 27th minute. With the ball bouncing around in the box it would eventually find its way to Marissa Everett. Sam Staab made a crucial block on the shot from six yards out to keep the game scoreless.
Kingsbury was called upon once again in the 33rd minute. Off a low cross inside the box, Everett took a first time opportunity from six yards out which was met evenly at the hands of Kingsbury. Instantly starting an attack, the Spirit created a strong chance in the same minute. From 18 yards out, Andi Sullivan fired a shot to the lower left corner of the goal, calling on Bixby to make a fully-stretched diving save.
It was once again the goalkeepers in action in the 39th minute when Kingsbury made a critical one-on-one save, this time to her left-hand side off of a Yazmeen Ryan shot. One minute later, the Spirit found itself on the counter attack. Hatch slipped a ball across to Ashley Sanchez, who attempted to flick it over Bixby, resulting in a forced save.
The second half would lend itself to few goal-scoring chances, the first of which would come in the 65th minute when Rodman placed a shot inches wide of the bottom left corner. Upon being substituted into the game for Portland, Janine Beckie placed a dangerous cross into the six-yard box, calling on Kingsbury to make a diving save in the box to collect the cross.
In the 70th minute, Hatch found herself with another opportunity, this one a first-time header off a Camryn Biegalski cross from the left-hand side of the pitch. Hatch’s header would find the ball glancing off the top of the crossbar.
Bayley Feist made an immediate impact upon her substitution into the game. In the 76th minute, Feist found herself with an opportunity from six yards out, calling upon Bixby to make the save. Off the resulting corner, the Spirit found the back of the net. Bixby came down after intercepting the cross and appeared to back over the goal line while still holding the ball. After Bixby tossed the ball back out into play, Ashley Hatch, in her 100th NWSL appearance, found the ball and tapped it in for assurance, but it would ultimately go down as a Bella Bixby own goal that put the Spirit ahead. The Washington Spirit has now scored nine of its last 16 goals after the 60th minute.
In the 84th minute, Thorns FC found an equalizer through Sinclair. Off a corner kick, the original shot bounced off the crossbar past a sprawling Kingsbury, falling at the feet of Sinclair who tapped it into the back of the net to tie the game. In the second minute of extra time, Weaver found herself with possession of the ball on the right hand side of the box. Cutting inside, Weaver launched home a shot from 18 yards out, beating Kingsbury and resulting in a second goal for Thorns FC. Portland now leads the NWSL with 36 goals this season.
The Spirit will have a couple of weeks off from competition before heading into the final stretch of the regular season. Heading southwest to Houston, the Spirit will take on the Houston Dash on Saturday, August 27.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns FC
Date: August 10, 2022
Venue: Segra Field
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Light rain, low-70s
WAS – Bella Bixby (OG) – 76’
POR – Christine Sinclair – 84’
POR – Morgan Weaver – 90’+2’
WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 30- Camryn Biegalski; 3- Sam Staab; 22- Amber Brooks; 5- Kelley O’Hara; 19 Dorian Bailey; 12- Andi Sullivan; 2- Trinity Rodman; 10- Ashley Sanchez (13- Bayley Feist 74’); 33- Ashley Hatch; 9- Tara McKeown
Unused Substitutes: 7- Taylor Aylmer; 11- Jordan Baggett; 8- Averie Collins; 29- Maddie Elwell; 21- Anna Heilferty; 18- Devon Kerr; 4- Karina Rodriguez; 20- Gaby Vincent
POR: 1- Bella Bixby; 14- Natalia Kuikka; 4- Becky Sauerbrunn; 20- Kelli Hubly; 25- Meghan Klingenberg (29- Tegan McGrady 61’); 17- Samantha Coffey; 23- Yazmeen Ryan (22- Morgan Weaver 74’); 12- Christine Sinclair; 11- Rocky Rodriguez; 8- Hina Sugita; 21- Marissa Everett (16- Janine Beckie 66’)
Unused Substitutes: 39- Meaghan Nally; 46- Taylor Porter; 44- Gabby Provenzano; 35- Abby Smith; 9- Sophia Smith; 37- Michele Vasconcelos
Stats Summary: WAS / POR
Shots: 19 / 19
Shots On Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 4 / 7
Shots Blocked: 2 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 8
Offsides: 0 / 2
WAS – Amber Brooks – 48’ – Yellow Card
WAS – Andi Sullivan – 63’ – Yellow Card