ThornsSpiritRecap

PORTLAND, Ore. - Sophia Smith opened the scoring and Bella Bixby made several crucial saves late as Portland Thorns FC and Washington Spirit played to 1-1 draw at Providence Park on Wednesday night.

Both teams combined to attempt 30 shots, but settled for a point each after a second half in which the intensity raised several notches. The Thorns are now undefeated in their 11 all-time home matches against the Spirit while Bixby overtook Adrianna Franch for the franchise record of shutout minutes (427).

Match Moments

26' - CLEARANCE (POR) - With Washington forward Ashley Hatch crashing at the back post to get on the end of a cross from Trinity Rodman, Becky Sauerbrunn made a timely clearance as she stuck her right foot out and deflected the ball to safety.

37' - CHANCE (POR) - Christine Sinclair pounced on a Spirit error as goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury cleared the ball right to her, but the ensuing chip attempt rattled off the top post.

41' - CHANCE (POR) - Smith nearly found herself alone with Kingsbury as she beat two Washington defenders in a footrace, but Washington's Emily Sonnett caught up with her at the last second to body her off the ball in the box.

44' - CLEARANCE (POR) - In a defense-oriented first half, Emily Menges made the most impressive play of all with a headed goal-line clearance to prevent Washington from opening the scoring. Sauerbrunn got a foot to the initial low cross, but with the deflection destined for the back of the net, Menges sprinted from outside the box, leapt and made a crucial intervention.

49' - CHANCE (POR) - The first good opportunity of the second half belonged to Portland. Smith received the ball on the right side in transition and ran at the Spirit defense before unleashing a shot that was deflected.

57' - GOAL (POR) - After coming close several times throughout the night, Smith finally scored the game's first goal just over 10 minutes into the second half. Running at Washington's Averie Collins on the right side, the forward found enough space to get a shot off and slot it past Kingsbury at the far post.

60' - CHANCE (POR) -Just three minutes after scoring, Smith found herself in behind Washington's defense once again. This time, the Spirit needed a defender to make a diving stop to deny Smith a quick brace.

63' - GOAL (WAS) - Washington's game-tying goal came courtesy of Ashley Hatch, who got her head to a lofted cross and redirected it past Bixby.

67' - SAVE (POR) - With the Spirit gaining momentum, Bixby stepped up to make a crucial save on Ashley Sanchez's powerful shot from the center of the box. It was her first of six saves on the night.

78' - CHANCE (POR) - Portland nearly capitalized off a moment of chaos around the box late in the night. Several players managed to get shots off that were deflected away before Meghan Klingenberg's attempt was finally secured by Kingsbury.

81' - DOUBLE SAVE (POR) - Called into action once again with ten minutes left, Bixby made her two most impressive saves of the night to keep the score tied at one. She got down quickly to deny Rodman, who was alone with a clear look at goal, before leaping back to her feet to deny Sanchez's follow-up attempt with a diving save.

89' - CHANCE (POR) - Portland had one final great look at goal right before stoppage time. Morgan Weaver found herself open at the back post, but couldn't make proper contact with the ball as it bounced too high yards in front of her, putting the late chance just over the bar.

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Portland plays its third home game in just over a week on Saturday, May 21, against the Houston Dash at Providence Park. (3 pm PT, TICKETS, Twitch).

Portland Thorns FC (1-0-2, 5pts) vs. Washington Spirit (1-1-1, 4pts) 
May 18, 2022 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Scoring Summary: 
POR: S. Smith (Kuikka), 57
WAS: Hatch (Heilferty), 63

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Hubly (caution), 82
WAS: Elwell (caution), 90+1

Lineups:
POR: GK Bixby, D Menges, D Hubly, D Sauerbrunn (Nally, 46), M Klingenberg, M Coffey, M Kuikka (Beckie, 58), M Sugita, M Rodriguez (Weaver, 46), F Sinclair © (Moultrie, 8), F S. Smith

Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, D Pogarch, D Provenzano, M Porter, M Ryan

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (S. Smith, Weaver, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (S. Smith, 2); FOULS: 6 (Kuikka, Menges, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 6

WAS: GK Kingsbury, D Biegalski, D Staab, D Sonnett, D Heilferty, M Roddar, M Brooks (Aylmer, 62), M Sanchez, M Feist (Elwell, 73), M Rodman, F Hatch

Substitutes Not Used: GK Barnhart, GK Kerr, D Rodriguez, D Goff, F Harding, F Alexander

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Sanchez, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Sanchez, 3); FOULS: 8 (Sonnett, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: 2

Referee: Brad Jensen
Assistant Referees: Tiffini Turnpin, Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Jaclyn Metz
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 62 degrees
Attendance: 9,876

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

Notes:

  • Portland is the only remaining unbeaten team in the NWSL in 2022. 
  • Thorns FC have allowed the fewest goals in the league (1).
  • In the eighth minute of tonight’s match, Bella Bixby broke the club record for consecutive shutout minutes, previously set at 371 by Adrianna Franch. Bixby’s record of 427 minutes spanned from Oct. 13, 2021-May 18, 2022.
  • Bixby recorded six saves tonight, matching her all-time record across all competitions. She’s only made six saves in one other match – Portland’s 2-1 loss to Chicago on Sept. 25, 2021.
  • Portland is undefeated against the Washington Spirit when playing at Providence Park (6-0-5). That is the most league home games without a loss against a single opponent among all NWSL fixtures.
  • Sophia Smith scored her second goal of the 2022 campaign. 
  • Thorns FC are 4-0-1 in 2022 when S. Smith has scored a goal. 
  • Natalia Kuikka tallied her first assist of the season.
  • Kuikka has two assists across all competitions this season and both of her assists have come on Sophia Smith goals.
  • Portland leads the league in shots on goal (19) in three matches this season.