Former Thorn Jessica McDonald scored the lone goal of the game as Portland Thorns FC fell 1-0 to the Houston Dash in front of 14,409 at Providence Park Saturday night. McDonald rushed into the box to head in the winner in the 24th minute to hand the Thorns their second-straight loss.
McDonald became the first Dash player to score against the Thorns when Kealia Ohai was able to create space on the left flank and cross into the box. McDonald darted in behind her defender to head in from close range for her fourth goal of the season.
Portland had come close to opening the scoring with back-to-back chances minutes before McDonald's strike. Amateur forward Sarah Jackson stretched for a cross from Ayo Añonma, but her point-blank shot was blocked away by Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger. Midfielder Kendall Johnson followed up with a low shot that Henniger kicked away. Portland has been shutout in their last two games.
Portland dominated offensively, holding an 18-4 advantage in shots and earning 11 corners to Houston's three. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos made a number of good catches on crosses, but only had to make one save, while Henninger was forced to make eight.
Portland has now seen three streaks end in two matches. Their unbeaten start to the season ended with a 1-0 loss to the Boston Breakers last weekend and an eight match unbeaten run at Providence Park was broken with tonight's result, along with a three-match winning streak against the Dash. The last four matches between the Dash and the Thorns have ended 1-0. Two of those four have seen McDonald score.
Amateur defender Alyssa Kleiner made her first NWSL start for the Thorns, while Añonma made her first start at Providence Park.
Updates to follow...