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Angerer saves penalty as Thorns edge Dash, 1-0

FIFA World Player of the Year, Portland's Nadine Angerer did what she does best, stopping a PK in Wednesday's win over the Dash (Photo Copyright Getty Images)

A Jess McDonald goal and a Nadine Angerer penalty save lifted the Thorns back into the win column, 1-0 over the Houston Dash in the first weeknight NWSL match at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dash had a golden opportunity to score their first ever home goal when Nikki Marshall was flagged for a handball in the box just after halftime, but Angerer dove to her right to make the save on Kaylyn Kyle. Ten minutes later McDonald got on the end of Angie Kerr’s cross for her team-leading 4th goal of the season. The win lifted the Thorns into 2nd place pending the result of the Reign-Kansas City match. The Dash dropped their fourth straight, all by shutout.

The first half featured strong play from both goalkeepers. Angerer made a reflex save to deny the best Dash chance, a Jordan Jackson header at the end of Arianna Romero’s set piece. Angerer robbed Jackson again near the end of the half when the rookie midfielder got off a dangerous shot after a strong buildup by the Dash. Erin McLeod did not make any highlight reel saves but was authoritative in her box and cut off numerous crosses to thwart attacks. Jess McDonald had one good chance that she rolled wide and created another for Christine Sinclair that also went wide, extending the Canadian’s goal scoring drought.

The action picked up in the 2nd half. A sweet 52nd minute buildup by the Thorns ended when Osinachi Ohale blocked a Sinclair blast. The goal-scoring sequence began when McLeod backed off a Courtney Niemiec cross and allowed Becky Edwards to play it with her head. The Dash were unable to clear and Kerr swooped in to grab a loose ball, took one touch to gain position and crossed it with her next. McDonald was waiting and made a clinical finish for the only goal on the night.

After falling behind the Dash weathered a storm of Thorns possession before settling down and creating several good opportunities to equalize. But they were unable to break through against Angerer and a back line that featured Marshall and three rookies. Emily Menges played a strong game next to Marshall in the center and continues to be a worthy fill-in for the injured Rachel Van Hollebeke. On the other end the Dash also made a series of defensive plays to stay in touch.

The Dash (1-5-0, 3 pts) next play Sunday in Kansas City against the club that whipped them 4-0 at BBVA Compass. The Thorns (3-1-2, 11 pts) have the weekend off and next host the Flash next Wednesday at Providence Park.


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