Late night Spirit’s game ends with a tough loss.
Box Score: Washington Spirit 2-4 Portland Thorns FC
NWSL Regular Season Game # 13
- What Can We Expect With the World Cup Players Being Gone? – With four Spirit players (Rodman, Sanchez, Sullivan and Kingsbury) being called up to the Women’s World Cup, it’s hard not to wonder how different the Spirit will be approaching games with their absence. Will the team keep their 4-4-2 formation? Will the rookies be ready to fill important roles? With many questions being presented, one thing is certain – as of now the Spirit sit at the top of the table and Parsons’ system works when the players are given time in-game to adjust.
First Half –
The opening half of this match began with cheers, honoring the players from both teams that were called up to the USWNT for the Women’s World Cup. Only thirty seconds into the match, Portland has the ball and takes a shot but it’s just wide of Kingsbury and the goal. After a small moment of back and forth between the two teams, Portland’s Smith gets the ball and runs through the Spirit defenders, taking a shot in the direction of the goal, but the ball being deflected. Soon after Portland’s offensive chance, Sanchez gets the ball, playing it in Portland’s box, kicks the ball and it deflects to Jaurena who takes the shot but it’s wide of the net.
At the eleventh minute of the match, Smith runs through four Spirit defenders, picking up the speed as she goes, keeping the ball at her left foot, and narrowly places the ball at the bottom left corner of the net, scoring. Less than two minutes after Portland’s goal, Bailey sends the ball to Sanchez, Sanchez barely keeps it in bounds but passes it to Hatch, who sends it right by Hogan. Ten minutes after Hatch’s equalizing goal Smith gets the ball and breaks away from the Spirit defenders, scoring again and making her the NWSL’s leading goal scorer, and sending the Spirit to the half down 1-2.
Second Half –
Early in the start of the second half, Staab does a throw-in, with the ball being bobbled around before landing in front of Sanchez. Sanchez lifts the ball with no kick back, sending the ball straight into Portland’s goal, equalizing the game for the Spirit again. Smith, with the ball, breaks away from the Spirit defenders again, sending the ball straight into the Spirit’s net only two minutes after the Spirit tied the game.
Not long after Portland regained their lead, Rodman had the ball, went through defenders and took a shot, but it’s wide. At the sixty fourth minute, Portland’s Weaver is playing on the back line when she receives a deep pass, surrounded by three Spirit players as she sends the ball into the back of the net, furthering the Portland lead.
The Spirit get a few more chances to close in on Portland’s lead, with Rodman having a shot that goes high and above the crossbar, and Staab having a shot that goes wide. However none of those chances ended up resulting in goals, and the Spirit, despite remaining offensively matched for the majority of the match, fell 2-4 to the Portland Thorns.
Washington Spirit Goals – Hatch 13’, Sanchez 46’
Portland Thorns – Smith 11’, 23’, 48’, Weaver 64’
(C) Kingsbury, Bailey, McKeown, Staab, Carle; Jaurena (Ricketts 67’), Sullivan, Metayer; Rodman, Hatch (Douglas 87’), Sanchez (Kuhlmann 90+1’)
Portland Thorns (433)
Hogan; Kuikka, Hubly, Menges, Reyes; Dunn, Coffey, (C)Sinclair (Moultrie 67’); Sugita (Porter 90+3’), Smith, Weaver (Vasconcelos 79’)
Washington Spirit- none
Portland Thorns- none