Portland downs Dash 4-1 for first win this season in the NWSL (2024)

Rookie Croix Bethune was involved in both goals as the Washington Spirit defeated Gotham 2-0 on Saturday afternoon in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Playing in front of 15,004 fans at Audi Field, the Spirit pressured Gotham in the first half and found their breakthrough in the 41st minute.

Bethune dribbled to her left to create a little space and struck from distance, whipping a shot into the lower left corner. The third pick in this year’s NWSL Draft now has three goals in her first five NWSL matches.

Bethune earned a penalty kick in the 68th minute when her shot deflected off a Gotham defender’s outstretched arm. Ashley Hatch, the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, buried the penalty into the right corner — scoring her 40th goal for the Spirit. It was the 10th straight penalty that Hatch converted.

After losing their season opener, the Spirit (4-1-0) have won four straight games.

Gotham (1-2-1) had 10 injured players heading into the match and lost U.S. women’s national team defender Tierna Davidson early in the first half to what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

LOUISVILLE 5, ROYALS 1

Uchenna Kanu’s fourth goal of the season sparked a 5-1 victory for Racing Louisville over the Utah Royals.

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Savannah DeMelo also notched a brace, while rookies Reilyn Turner and Emma Sears scored their first NWSL goals in front of 11,365 fans at Louisville’s Lynn Family Stadium, a club attendance record.

In the 26th minute, Kanu rose up and headed in Lauren Milliet’s cross.

Utah (1-4-0) pulled level just before the halftime whistle. Rookie defender Olivia Griffitts got the ball in space, took a touch toward goal, and shot into the left corner from just inside the 18-yard box. Another rookie, Ally Sentnor, assisted the goal.

It was all Louisville in the second half.

DeMelo scored her first goal of the season in the 68th minute, slamming home a rebound after Mandy Haught saved Elexa Bahr’s close-range shot. Ten minutes later, DeMelo put her penalty into the right corner after teammate Sears was brought down in the box.

Turner headed in a Carson Pickett cross to the far post in the 88th minute, while Sears added a fifth goal in the 91st, dribbling from half and scoring on a breakaway.

Louisville (1-0-4) remains undefeated.

CURRENT 5, BAY FC 2

Bia Zaneratto and Temwa Chawinga each scored a pair of goals and the Kansas City Current defeated Bay FC 5-2.

Bayley Feist added a goal for the Current, playing at home in front of a sell-out of 11,500. Kansas City (4-0-1) remained undefeated through five games and were among three league teams that have not dropped a match this season.

Kayla Sharples and Tess Boade scored for Bay FC (2-3-0).

Zaneratto scored her first in the second minute. Feist scored her first career goal some four minutes later to put the Current up 2-0.

Sharples closed the gap for Bay FC with a header in the 17th. But Chawinga scored a pair within six minutes early in the second half before Boade closed out scoring in the 78th.

Zaneratto and Chawinga have four goals each to share the NWSL lead in scoring with Louisville’s Uchenna Kanu. The Current lead the league with 17 total goals this season.

THORNS 4, DASH 1

Christine Sinclair and Sophia Smith both scored first-half goals and the Portland Thorns held off the Houston Dash 4-1 for their first win of the season.

Sinclair’s goal in the sixth minute gave the Thorns the early lead and Smith doubled it in the 27th, popping the ball past fallen Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell. It was Smith’s team-leading third goal this season.

Houston narrowed the match early in the second half on Diana Ordonez’s goal. But Olivia Moultrie scored in the 87th and Janine Beckie got a goal in stoppage team to seal it for the Thorns.

The Thorns (1-3-1) went into the match as the lone NWSL team without a win this season. Earlier this week, the team reassigned coach Mike Norris as technical director and named Rob Gale interim head coach.

The Dash (1-3-1) made several moves official earlier Saturday. They sent forward Maria Sanchez to the San Diego Wave in exchange for $300,000 in intra-league transfer funds, $200,000 in allocation money and an international roster spot for this year. Sanchez had asked for a trade.

The Dash also traded goalkeeper Emily Alvardo to Portland for allocation money and conditional compensation. Houston additionally announced that defender Kiki Van Zanten’s season was over following a foot injury against the Washington Spirit the previous weekend.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Portland downs Dash 4-1 for first win this season in the NWSL (2024)

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