Forward duo Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan each scored a goal as Portland Thorns FC defeated the Washington Spirit 2-0 before a crowd of 12,474 at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday afternoon.
Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made three saves, helping guide Thorns FC to their third shutout of the inaugural National Women's Soccer League season. Portland earned its league-leading fifth win in seven matches, registering 14 shots against the Spirit.
Thorns FC (5-1-1, 16pts) found the lead four minutes from halftime as Sinclair tallied her third goal of the season. Midfielder Allie Long collected a loose ball outside the penalty box and delivered a cross to Sinclair on the right edge of the area. Sinclair settled the ball and took two touches to the inside before bending a left-footed shot to the far post for a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute. Long's assist was her first of the year.
Morgan doubled the Thorns FC lead in the 86th minute with her team-leading fourth goal of the season. Following a Spirit free kick near midfield, second-half substitute Courtney Wetzel intercepted a Robin Gayle pass in the Thorns FC defensive third and quickly sent a through pass ahead to Morgan, splitting two defenders. Morgan reached the ball first, dribbled into the penalty box and slotted a right-footed shot past the goalkeeper.
The goal was the fourth in six games for the U.S. Women's National Team forward.
Making her second consecutive substitute appearance, Thorns FC midfielder Angie Kerr was denied a goal in the 80th minute on a diving stop from Jones. Sinclair dribbled to the end line before cutting a pass back toward the top of the box. A Washington defender deflected the ball to Kerr, who attempted a strong shot in-stride that was saved by Jones.
Sunday's match was the second of two regular-season meetings between the teams this year. Portland earned a 2-1 road win on May 4 against the Spirit as Morgan and midfielder Nikki Washington recorded goals in the second match of a three-game road trip.
Thorns FC take to the road on Saturday, May 25, against Cascadia-rival Seattle Reign FC at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.; kickoff is 7 p.m. Fans can follow the game live via a web stream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
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