NWSL MATCH RECAP | Washington Spirit 1, Portland Thorns FC 6

Braces by Alex Morgan and Jessica McDonald lead Thorns FC to 6-1 road victory

BOYDS, Md. – Portland Thorns FC set a club record for goals in a single game, scoring four goals in the second half to earn a 6-1 victory against the Washington Spirit behind braces from forwards Alex Morgan and Jessica McDonald in front of 3,806 fans at Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday evening.

Portland (6-4-2, 20pts) exploded in the second half, scoring four goals after taking a 2-0 lead into halftime. Morgan recorded her first brace for Thorns FC in the 71st minute intercepting a clearance by Spirit goalkeeper Chantel Jones and chipping it in from outside the box.

McDonald, a substitute for Morgan in the 82nd minute, wasted no time scoring back-to-back goals in the 85th and 87th minutes to increase Portland’s lead to 5-1. McDonald finished inside the box after the initial save from Jones on midfielder Sinead Farrelly’s shot in the 85th minute. Defender Sarah Huffman made a long run down the left flank in the 87th minute, playing a cross to McDonald for the finish at the back post.

The brace was McDonald’s second of the season after she registered two goals against FC Kansas City on April 26. McDonald now leads the team with eight goals this season.

A substitute in the 65th minute, midfielder Allie Long tallied her fifth goal of the season in stoppage time, receiving a ball from midfielder Verónica Boquete outside the box as she beat her defender and slotted a ball inside the right post from close range.  

Thorns FC got off to a fast start scoring their quickest goal of the season in the fifth minute of the match. Morgan collected the ball off a turnover and found forward Christine Sinclair open in the box as she turned to curl a shot into the left corner.

Portland doubled its lead in the 10th minute following a sequence of shots near the goal line. Midfielder Amber Brooks, Morgan and Sinclair all had their shots blocked before Morgan headed the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the game.

Thorns FC tallied 20 shots in the match, including 13 in the second half. Portland finished the game with a season-high 13 shots on goal. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos earned her second win for Thorns FC in goal making four saves in the game.

Portland faces a quick turnaround returning to the Rose City for a match against Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, May 25, at Providence Park. Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature a live television broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Northwest in addition to a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.

Notes:

  • Six different players tallied a point in the match as forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Verónica Boquete and defender Sarah Huffman each recorded their first assists of the 2014 season.
  • Defender Nikki Marshall made her 34th consecutive regular-season start for Thorns FC on Saturday.
  • Saturday’s match marked just the second time that forwards Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan both scored in a match in club history. The last time was on May 19, 2013 at home against Washington.
  • Portland is now 6-0-0 when scoring first in a match this season.
  • Thorns FC improved to 4-0-0 all time against Washington outscoring the Spirit, 12-2, in those four meetings.
  • Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke made her second appearance of the season as a substitute.
  • Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer served her one-game suspension after receiving a red card in Thorns FC’s match on June 7 against Western New York.
  • Forward Alex Morgan is the third player in club history to score a brace along with forwards Jessica McDonald and Christine Sinclair.
  • McDonald is the second player in club history to record two braces in a season. Sinclair scored a brace during the 2013 season on July 28 against Chicago and August 17 against Seattle.
  • Saturday marked the second time in Thorns FC’s history that four different players scored in a match. Four different players scored in a 4-3 win over FC Kansas City on June 6, 2013.
  • Portland has tallied 20 or more shots in a match three times this season and recorded double-digit shot attempts in seven consecutive matches.
  • Thorns FC has a record of 11-3-5 all-time on the road in all competitions, dating back to the 2013 season.
  • McDonald ranks third in the NWSL with eight goals this season after Saturday night’s match.

Portland Thorns FC (6-4-2, 20pts) at Washington Spirit (6-7-1, 19pts)
June 21, 2014 – Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex (Boyds, Md.)

Goals by Half                           1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                2         4          6
Washington Spirit                   0          1         1                      

Scoring Summary
POR: Sinclair (Morgan), 5
POR: Morgan, 10
WAS: Nairn, 62
POR: Morgan, 71
POR: McDonald, 85
POR: McDonald (Huffman), 87
POR: Long (Boquete), 90+1

Misconduct Summary
WAS: Gayle (Caution), 10
POR: Brooks (Caution), 59
POR: Menges (Caution), 89

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Michelle Betos, D Sarah Huffman, D Nikki Marshall, D Emily Menges, D Steph Catley (Van Hollebeke, 46), M Rebecca Moros , M Sinead Farrelly, M Verónica Boquete, M Amber Brooks (Long, 65), F Alex Morgan (McDonald, 82), F Christine Sinclair

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lewis*, M Kerr, M Shim, D Niemiec

TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Morgan, 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 13 (Morgan, 5); FOULS: 6 (6 players, 1); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4

WAS: GK Chantel Jones, D Ali Krieger (De Vanna, 46), D Tori Huster, D Nikki Cross, D Alex Singer (Adams, 72), D Robyn Gayle, M Yael Averbuch, M Lori Lindsey, M Christine Nairn, M Diana Matheson, F Jodie Taylor

Substitutes Not Used: GK Harris, F Cuellar, F Perez

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Taylor, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Taylor, 3); FOULS: 7 (Gayle, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6

Referee: Kristen Salazar
Assistant Referees: Karen Abt, Jeffrey Skinner
4th Official: Paul Ciaramitaro
Attendance: 3,806
Weather: Cloudy, 61 degrees

*amateur player

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial