The Washington Spirit remained unbeaten at the Maryland Soccerplex and handed Portland Thorns FC its first loss of the year in a 3-1 victory last Saturday night.
The Spirit improved their record to 3-1-1 and leapfrogged the Thorns and four other teams to temporarily take over the top spot in the NWSL table. It was the second straight win and second straight game with three goals for the Spirit.
Forward Ashley Hatch opened the scoring with her first goal of the season in the 16th minute. Hatch beat Portland goalkeeper and Germantown native, Britt Eckerstrom after defender Amy Harrison threaded a long pass past a few Thorns players to record the assist.
After a brief weather delay late in the first half, the Spirit maintained the one-goal lead into the halftime break. As part of the Spirit’s inaugural Armed Forces Night, players thanked service members in a video shown during halftime, and veterans and active duty service members in attendance were honored.
The Spirit lead doubled in the 47th minute when a Jordan DiBiasi corner kick deflected off of Thorns midfielder Dagny Brinjarsdottir and found its way into the net for an own goal.
After Portland pulled one back in the 67th minute, DiBiasi delivered from a corner yet again, this time scoring an olimpico, which is a goal scored on a corner kick which does not touch any other players, to restore the two-goal lead in the 71st minute and snuff out any chance of a Thorns comeback.
Besides jumping to the top of the standings and giving Portland (2-1-2) its first loss of the year, the victory means the Spirit have already surpassed last season’s win total. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe recorded three saves in front of a crowd of 3,049 at the Soccerplex.
The Spirit will return to action on Saturday, May 26 when they visit the Chicago Red Stars at 6:00 pm. Their next action at the Soccerplex, where they remain unbeaten at 2-0-1 this season, will be Saturday, June 1 against Utah Royals FC.
Photo and video courtesy Washington Spirit.