NWSL: Portland Thorns end Washington Spirit’s win streak
The NWSL’s Portland Thorns ended Washington Spirit’s win streak. Washington’s 100% record ended with a hard fought 0-0 draw.
The Portland Thorns ended Washington Spirit’s 100% record, as the two teams saw out a nil-nil draw in their week four National Women’s Soccer League fixture.
The Spirit looked to have taken the lead in the first half through Crystal Dunn. However, the forward’s goal was ruled to have come from an offside position. Late in the match, Portland’s Tobin Heath received her second yellowcard of the match, resulting in her sending off.
Heath’s sending off opened play for the Spirit and Washington bombarded the Thorns. However, Portland escaped Washington with a point, ending the Spirit’s winning start to the season. The Thorns remain two points behind Washington following the draw with eight points from 12.
Chicago Red Stars kept pace with Washington with a 1-0 win over the Boston Breakers. Boston have been extremely woeful this season and remain pointless in 2016. US international Christen Press tallied her league leading third goal of the season as she struck in the second half to give Chicago the lead. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher obtained her third clean sheet of the season as Chicago remain in second place in the NWSL, one point behind Washington.
FC Kansas City were dealt their second consecutive loss and, like Boston Breakers, remain winless in 2016. Houston Dash’s Denise O’Sullivan struck in the 69th minute, and minutes later, Chioma Ubogagu notched Houston’s second. The Dash were in control for much of the 90 minutes. Kansas City did get a consolation goal in the 87th minute from Yael Averbuch’s penalty, but it was too little, too late.
Western New York Flash came from behind to defeat Sky Blue FC 2-1 at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. Sky Blue took a first half lead thanks to Raquel Rodriguez’s through ball beating the offside trap, finding Maya Hayes, who slotted home to make it 1-0.
Western New York fought back after the break, however, as defender Jaelene Hinkle put away a penalty kick following a Sky Blue handball. Midfielder Sam Mewis scored the goal ahead goal and Western New York moved ahead of Sky Blue in the NWSL league table with six points.
One major NWSL note from the fixture was the debut of South Korean Jeon Ga-Eul. She became the first South Korean player to play in the NWSL. The South Korean forward started the match before being substituted on 68 minutes to a round of approval from Western New York supporters.
In the final match of the weekend, the Orlando Pride remained undefeated at home with a 2-0 win over Seattle Reign. US international Alex Morgan set up both goals, first for Sarah Hagen and then for Lianne Sanderson. The win marked the first clean sheet of the season for Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, as the Pride improve to six points from 12 and sit mid-table.
As with all NWSL games, fans can watch all the matches in full on YouTube.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his latest book, Soccer Travels, in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.