HOUSTON – Playing the second of three games in an eight-day span, Portland Thorns FC earned a point on the road with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday night. Forward Ana Crnogorcevic tallied her first career goal for Thorns FC in the match, helping Portland pick up at least one point on the road for a third consecutive match.
Portland improved to 6-2-3 all-time against Houston with the draw. Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five matches (3-0-2) against the Dash. Additionally, Portland improved to 2-1-3 all-time on the road against Houston.
Points on the road
With the draw, Thorns FC have earned at least one point on the road in six of their last seven matches (3-1-3). Additionally, forward Christine Sinclair, who assisted on Portland’s goal Wednesday night, has tallied three goals and two assists in her last six road matches.
Defender Ellie Carpenter made her NWSL and Thorns FC debut, entering the match in the 71st minute. Carpenter is the first player to appear in the league born after the year 1999 as the youngest player in league history at 18 years and 11 days. Previously, the youngest player to appear in a league game was Thorns FC forward Caitlin Foord at 18 years and five months in 2013 with Sky Blue FC.
Thorns FC milestones
Sinclair tallied her third assist of the season in the match and the 10th of her Thorns FC career. With the assist, Sinclair is now the fourth player in club history to register double-digit assists. She is also the third player in Thorns FC history to record double-digit goals and assists for the club.
Starting out on the front foot, midfielder Lindsey Horan helped generate the first opportunity of the match for Portland, slipping a pass to midfielder Tobin Heath running into the center circle. Heath dribbled down field, beating one Houston player before firing a shot from the edge of the box that skipped just wide of the left post in the third minute.
Portland opened the scoring in the 25th minute. Heath quickly switched the point of attack to find midfielder Midge Purce running down the right flank. Purce dribbled along the end line and delivered a low, hard cross into the center of the box. Several Thorns FC players got a touch and Houston attempted to clear the cross as it bounced around before landing at the feet of Crnogorcevic, who finished in traffic from close range, sliding her shot underneath Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell for her first goal of the season.
Houston leveled the match in the 57th minute, combining down the right side. Forward Kyah Simon made an overlapping run near the edge of the box after receiving a pass from forward Veronica Latsko, and Simon delivered a well-placed strike into the left-side netting.
Goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom made a critical stop in the 62nd minute, diving to her right to make a fingertip save, pushing a flicked-on header by Latsko off the right post and out of play for a Houston corner kick. Just minutes later, Eckerstrom tipped the ball over the crossbar to deny forward Nichelle Prince from a tight angle near the left post.
Against the run of play, Portland created a chance in the 71st minute as defender Meghan Klingenberg intercepted the ball just outside the box. Klingenberg played a short pass to Sinclair running towards the goal, and she sent a curling strike just wide of the left post.
Searching for the game-winner, Klingenberg delivered an in-swinging corner kick from the right corner, finding Horan who put a powerful header on target that was cleared off the goal line by Houston defender Janine Van Wyk in the 81st minute.
- Defender Ellie Carpenter made her Thorns FC and NWSL debut, becoming the youngest player to appear in an NWSL match at 18 years and 11 days. Carpenter is the first player born after 1999 to play in the league.
- Midfielders Andressinha and Tobin Heath made their first starts of the 2018 season.
- Midfielder Lindsey Horan became the sixth player in club history to surpass 4,000 career minutes played for Thorns FC.
- After playing 90 minutes in the match, defender Emily Sonnett moved into fourth place all-time in career minutes played (4,140) for Portland.
- Forward Christine Sinclair tallied her 10th career assist in the match. Sinclair is the fourth player in club history to reach the double-digit assist mark. Additionally, she is third player in club history to register double-digit goals and assists for her career.
- Forward Ana Crnogorcevic scored her first career goal for the Thorns FC.
- Crnogorcevic is the fifth different player to tally a goal for Portland this season.
- With the assist, Sinclair has now registered a goal or an assist in three consecutive road matches (2g, 2a).
- Portland improved to 6-2-3 all-time against Houston, extending its unbeaten streak to five matches (3-0-2) against the Dash.
Up next, Thorns FC return to the Rose City to play host to the Orlando Pride on Saturday, May 12, at Providence Park. Saturday’s match is the featured NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland Thorns FC (2-2-3, 9pts) at Houston Dash (1-3-3, 6pts)
May 9, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
Houston Dash 0 1 1
POR: Crnogorcevic (Sinclair), 25
HOU: Simon (Latsko), 57
HOU: van Wyk (caution), 90+1
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Hubly (Carpenter, 71), D Klingenberg, M Purce, M Andressinha (Boureille, 66), M Horan, F Heath (Lussi, 64), F Sinclair ©, F Crnogorcevic
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gay, D Ball, F Onumonu, F Weber
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Sinclair, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Crnogorcevic, 2); FOULS: 7 (Sonnett, 3), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 5
HOU: GK Campbell, D Agnew, D van Wyk, D Brooks, D Keever, M Hanson, M Mewis, M Simon, F Latsko (Kgatlana, 82), F Daly, F Prince (Jordan, 88)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Henninger, D Chapman, M Shim, M Murphy, F Hahn
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Latsko, Simon, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Latsko, 2); FOULS: 9 (Daly, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referees: Francisco Bermudez, Diego Blas
4th Official: Estefania Estrada
Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial