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Photo: Tony Quinn/ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md (May 7, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (3-0-1, 10 points) remains undefeated and atop the National Women’s Soccer League table after a 0-0 draw against the Portland Thorns (2-0-2, 8 points) in front of 4,333 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex. It was a thrilling and physical game that resulted in five yellow cards throughout the night including two yellow cards to Thorns captain Tobin Heath.
The first yellow card came in the 17th minute when Spirit center back Megan Oyster tackled Thorns nutmeg specialist Tobin Heath. Heath then took the earned free kick from just outside of the penalty box, but her shot was cleared by Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé.
In the 26th minute, Thorns defender Emily Sonnett slide-tackled Crystal Dunn outside of the box earning Sonnett a yellow card and the Spirit a free kick. Canadian midfielder and league leading scorer Diana Matheson sent the ball to defender Ali Krieger. Krieger headed the ball toward goal, but her shot was deflected. Spirit midfielder Tori Huster won the ball back and took a shot on goal, but the kick was tipped over the net by Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, earning the Spirit a corner. Matheson stepped up again for the set piece, which was once again headed by Krieger, but the ball landed out of bounds.
The Spirit saw several more opportunities in the first half. One came in the 35th minute when Krieger made a long run down the right flank and crossed the ball to Dunn in the box. Dunn headed the cross into the back of the net, however she was called offside. The Spirit had another great run when Franch came off her line, providing forward Cali Farquharson an opportunity to score in her first professional start. However, her shot went just wide.
The third yellow card of the match was awarded in the 59th minute when Heath was called for encroaching upon Krieger during a free kick.
In the 74th minute the Spirit had another set piece opportunity after earning a corner kick. Spirit forward Cheyna Williams launched a ball to the feet of Dunn who sent the ball sailing toward goal. However, the shot was blocked by Franch who tapped it over the net and out of bounds.
In the 88th minute, the fourth yellow card of the night was awarded to Heath after she fouled Spirit defender Megan Oyster and subsequently slammed the ball against the ground. Heath’s accumulation of two yellow cards led to her receiving a red card, forcing her ejection from the game.
In stoppage time, the Spirit saw two promising attempts at taking the lead, however both proved unsuccessful. First, Dunn took a driven shot in the box, however, it bounced off the left post. Second, Dunn’s initial effort was blocked and Nairn was able to pick up the rebound and take a shot on goal, but the shot went sailing wide of goal.
In stoppage time USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan earned the fifth and final yellow card of the night when she fouled Nairn in the Spirit’s offensive third.
The Spirit will look to continue its undefeated streak against the Houston Dash next Saturday, May 14th at 7 p.m. at Maureen Hendricks Field.
Washington Spirit Lineup: Stephanie Labbé, Ali Krieger, Megan Oyster, Shelina Zadorsky, Alyssa Kleiner, Joanna Lohman (Christine Nairn 79′), Tori Huster, Diana Matheson, Cali Farquharson (Katie Stengel 83′), Crystal Dunn, Estefania Banini (Cheyna Williams 64′)
Subs not used: Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Kelsey Wys, Estelle Johnson
Portland Thorns Lineup: Katherine Reynolds, Emily Menges, Mana Shimm (Hayley Raso 64′), Lindsey Horan, Nadia Nadim (Mallory Weber 85′), Allie Long, Dagny Brynjarsdottir (Meg Morris 94′), Emily Sonnett, Tobin Heath, Adrianna Franch, Meghan Klingenberg
Subs not used: Michelle Betos, McKenzie Berryhill, Celeste Boureille
|17||Washington||4||Megan Oyster||Yellow||Tactical Foul|
|28||Portland||16||Emily Sonnett||Yellow||Tactical Foul|
|88||Portland||17||Tobin Heath||Yellow||Tactical Foul|
|95+||Portland||7||Lindsey Horan||Yellow||Tactical Foul|