The Portland Thorns experienced a case of déjà vu, falling behind 2-0 to the Washington Spirit in the first half, but fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at Providence Park.
Much like their April 25th match against the Chicago Red Stars, the Thorns saw their comeback begin from Mana Shim just before the half hour mark. Needing to pull momentum back in their favor, Portland grabbed a two-on-one advantage with Allie Long leading the charge. Long pulled the ball back and found forward Sarah Johnson who turned and took the first shot. Spirit keeper Kelsey Wys made a quick diving stop but the rebound was chased down by Shim who buried her third goal of the season in the 28th minute.
The Thorns completed the comeback with a second goal early in the second half. While it took the Thorns two minutes to tie the game against the Red Stars, Portland took a little longer but found the equalizer in the 51st minute from Long With the Thorns looking to push the ball forward, Long and Shim connected with a quick give and go outside the box leaving Long wide open for her league-best fourth goal of the season.
Portland kept up the pressure and earned a penalty kick as Long’s cross connected with a Washington player’s shoulder in the 65th minute. Long stepped to the spot and pushed the ball to Wys’s right but the Spirit keeper made the diving save to keep the score even.
Despite not earning their first-ever victory in the pacific northwest, the Spirit had their chances and looked strong in the beginning and forced numerous defensive mistakes for the Thorns. Those mistakes proved to be the catalyst as Crystal Dunn opened the scoring. After training all week with the U.S. national team all week, Dunn didn’t show any rust with her teammates finding the back of the net in the 3rd minute. After a defensive miscommunication outside the 18-yard box, Dunn cut off a lazy pass and fired a left-footed laser past Nadine Angerer in the upper corner.
Eleven minutes later, the Spirit found the back of the net again thanks to pressure from Francisca Ordega. After a deep goal kick from Kelsey Wys, the ball rolled to Thorns defender Emily Menges who turned and lost possession to the Nigerian striker. With just the German national keeper to beat, Ordega beat the closing Angerer to double the lead in the 14th minute.
The game keeps the Thorns unbeaten against Washington in four home matches over the past three years with two being draws.
NEXT UP: Both teams return to action next Saturday, May 16, with the Thorns traveling east to face the Boston Breakers. The Thorns will lose their eighth player to World Cup preparation as Angerer returns to Germany. The Spirit will return play host to Sky Blue.
Portland Thorns FC (2-0-2, 8pts) vs. Washington Spirit (2-2-1, 7pts)
May 9, 2015 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 1 2
Washington Spirit 2 0 2
WASH: Dunn, 3
WASH: Ordega, 14
POR: Shim, 28
POR: Long (Shim), 51
POR: Van Hollebeke (Caution), 34
POR: GK Nadine Angerer, D Rachel Van Hollebeke (Alyssa Kleiner, 74), D Kat Williamson ©, D Emily Menges, M Sinead Farrelly, M McCall Zerboni, M Mana Shim, M Allie Long, M Taylor Comeau (Hanna Terry, 70), M Kendall Johnson, F Sarah Jackson (Kelsey Haycook, 81)
BOS: GK Kelsey Wys, D Katherine Reynolds, D Megan Oyster, D Whitney Church (Alex Singer, 75), D Estelle Johnson, M Christine Nairn, M Tori Huster, M Joanna Lohman (Caroline Miller, 86), M Angela Salem (Amanda Da Costa, 68), F Francisca Ordega, F Crystal Dunn
Referee: Elvis Mahmutovic
Assistant Referees: TJ Zabolocki, J.J. Blodgett
4th Official: Desmond Miller