Despite conceding two early goals for the second-straight match, Portland Thorns FC rallied to earn a 2-2 with the Washington Spirit Saturday night at Providence Park in front of 14, 236 fans. Two defensive mistakes gifted the Spirit golden opportunities before Mana Shim and Allie Long tallied goals to save a point and the club's unbeaten start to the season.
Crystal Dunn, back from training with the U.S. Women's National Team, pounced on a loose pass from Rachel Van Hollebeke to open the scoring for Washington (2-2-1, 7pts) in just the third minute. Francisca Ordega then stripped Emily Menges of possession before breaking on goal and poking a shot into the net to get Washington a 2-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Portland (2-0-2, 8pts) began their comeback through Shim in the 29th minute. Amateur player Sarah Jackson made her first start for the Thorns and it was her saved shot that fell to the feet of Shim to pull a goal back. Shim then set up Long on the left side of the 18-yard box to score her fourth goal in the last three games at Providence Park. Long has scored in each of Portland's home games this season, three of which were from Shim passes.
The Thorns had a chance to win the match with a late penalty in the 66th minute, but Spirit keeper Kelsey Wys, filling in for Ashlyn Harris who is with the U.S. squad, saved Long's shot. Long also nearly scored from a free-kick, bending a shot towards the upper right corner, buy Wys palmed the shot over the bar. Portland's lone remaining international, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer made a world-class save to preserve the tie, reaching back to claw away a goal-bound cross in stoppage time.
With the majority of the internationals joining preparations for the World Cup, the Thorns had five amateur players in the game-day 18, with Jackson and Taylor Comeau in the starting eleven. Comeau earned her second-straight start, while Kelsey Haycook and Alyssa Kleiner also made second half appearances as substitutes.
Washington scored their first-ever goals at Providence Park and earned their first point. Portland improved their record against the Spirit to 4-0-2 with the team's playing out their second consecutive draw. Portland scored two goals against the Spirit at Providence Park for the third-straight match. The two teams were even with seven shots on target each, while the Thorns held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Angerer and Wys both made five saves.
Updates to follow...