BOYDS, Md. – Portland Thorns FC received an early goal from forward Ayo, but surrendered two first-half goals and could not find the equalizer in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Spirit in front of 3,519 fans on Saturday evening at Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex.
Thorns FC (2-3-1, 10pts) went in front 1-0 as Ayo tallied her first NWSL and Thorns FC career goal in the 18th minute of the match. Midfielder Allie Long played a well-timed passed into space inside the box for Ayo, who finished into the bottom left corner inside the box. The assist was Long’s second of the 2015 campaign.
Washington (4-3-1, 13pts) answered with two goals in a span of three minutes to grab a 2-1 lead in the 28th minute. Forward Amanda Da Costa got in behind the Thorns FC defense and chipped the ball over Portland goalkeeper Michelle Betos from the edge of the box in the 26th minute. Forward Crystal Dunn gave the Spirit the lead less than two minutes later, stealing the ball from Betos inside the box and finishing from five yards out.
Portland suffered its first loss in the all-time series (4-1-2) against Washington in the match. Betos kept Thorns FC within striking distance with season-high eight saves in the match, including a key stop late to deny Dunn from distance as Portland searched for an equalizer.
In the 80th minute, Ayo shook free of a defender and found space from close range to fire a shot, but her attempt was blocked near the goal line, while Long hit a strike from distance late second-half stoppage time that was blocked. Additionally, Portland had a free kick near the edge of the box and two corner kicks in the final minute of stoppage time, but could not find the goal.
Playing their final match before a league-wide break for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Thorns FC continue their two-game road swing, traveling to square off against the Houston Dash on Saturday, June 6, at BBVA Compass Stadium; kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be broadcast live via web stream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
- Midfielder McCall Zerboni started her 22nd straight match, dating back to the 2014 season, but saw her streak of consecutive minutes played end at 1,957 minutes.
- Ayo tallied her first career NWSL and Thorns FC goal, becoming the 15th different player to score a goal for Thorns FC in club history.
- Midfielder Allie Long has tallied at least one point in three of the last four meetings against Washington.
- Ayo’s goal scored in the 18th minute was the earliest goal in a match by Thorns FC this season.
- Forward Kelsey Haycook earned her first NWSL start, playing 45 minutes.
- Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke made her first appearance in a match since April 18, entering the game in the 46th minute.
- Goalkeeper Michelle Betos notched a season and NWSL career-high eight saves in the match.
- Long notched her eighth career assist, moving into sole possession of second place all-time in career assists and just one behind forward Alex Morgan with nine assists.
- Defender Emily Menges extended her streak to 1,169 consecutive minutes without a committing a foul.
- Defender Kat Williamson became the third Thorns FC player (Allie Long, McCall Zerboni) to make her 50th career NWSL appearance.
- Long has tallied a goal or an assist in five of Portland’s seven matches this season.
- Saturday’s match marked just the second time in club history Portland has suffered a loss when scoring first in a match (19-2-5).
Portland Thorns FC (2-3-2, 8pts) vs. Washington Spirit (4-3-1, 13pts)
May 30, 2015 – Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex (Boyds, Md.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
Washington Spirit 2 0 2
POR: Ayo (Long), 18
WASH: Da Costa, 26
WASH: Dunn, 28
POR: Long (Caution), 57
POR: Williamson (Caution), 61
WASH: Johnson (Caution), 61
POR: Farrelly (Caution), 71
POR: Jackson (Caution), 72
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Michelle Betos, D Taylor Comeau (Alyssa Kleiner, 83), D Emily Menges, D Kat Williamson ©, D Kendall Johnson, M Sinead Farrelly, M McCall Zerboni (Sarah Jackson, 67), M Allie Long, M Mana Shim, F Kelsey Haycook (Rachel Van Hollebeke, 46), F Ayo
Substitutes Not Used: GK Emily Kruger, M Kate Bennett
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Shim, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Shim, 2); FOULS: 13 (Farrelly, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 8
WASH: GK Kelsey Wys, D Katherine Reynolds, D Megan Oyster, D Whitney Church, D Estelle Johnson, M Christine Nairn ©, M Joanna Lohman (Caprice Dydasco, 75), M Angela Salem, F Crystal Dunn, F Amanda Da Costa (Tiffany Weimer, 90+1’), F Laura del Rio (Alex Singer, 82)
Substitutes Not Used: K Emily Lillard, F M Jennifer Skogerboe, M Tori Huster
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Dunn, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL:11 (Dunn, 5); FOULS: 9 (Johnson, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: Benjamin Wooten, Mike D’Angelo
4th Official: Danielle Chesky
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.