Thorns beat Spirit 1-0 thanks to Ellie Carpenter’s first NWSL goal
Carpenter is the youngest player to score a goal in NWSL history

Portland Thorns FC topped the Washington Spirit 1-0 on the road on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 3,284 at Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland.

The win snapped a five-game winless streak for the Thorns and moved them into fourth place in the NWSL with a 3-3-3 (12 pts) record. The Spirit fell to 1-5-2 (5 pts) and sit in eighth place.

Ellie Carpenter scored the first goal of her NWSL career for the Thorns in the 68th minute. With the goal, she became the youngest player to score a goal in NWSL history, at 18 years and 22 days. The goal came on an assist from Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, who tapped it to Carpenter after Tobin Heath passed the ball across the middle of the box.


Portland thought they had earned a penalty kick in the 62nd minute when Midge Purce appeared to be taken down in the box by Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan, but no foul was called.

The Spirit had a few good chances of their own to get on the board. In the 20th minute, Mallory Pugh made a long run, dribbling through defenders, but Britt Eckerstrom was able to collect her shot.


Ashley Hatch also had a header opportunity in the 10th minute, but couldn’t put it on frame.

Eckerstrom made four saves in the game and the Thorns earned their first shutout of the season.

The game was very even, according to Opta stats. The Spirit held a slight edge in possession 50.7% to 49.3% and shots 14-10. The Thorns held a slight edge in shots on target (5-4) and passing accuracy (75.5%-73.1%).

The Thorns are next in action on Friday, May 25, at home vs. Utah Royals FC. The Spirit will host Sky Blue FC on Wednesday night.




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