Jessica McDonald and Veronica Boquete scored goals Sunday as the Portland Thorns beat the Washington Spirit 2-0 in front of 10,056 fans at rainy Providence Park.
The result ended a three-match losing streak for the Thorns. Portland (5-4-2, 17 points) is now fifth in the nine-team National Women’s Soccer League, two points behind fourth-place Washington (6-6-1).
In the 11th minute, she set up McDonald fort her team-leading sixth goal of the season. In the 78th minute, Brooks’ pass sent Boquete on the run that led to the second Portland
It was the first goal for the Spanish international. Playing in her second match with the Thorns, Boquete was in the middle of the action throughout the second half, and had a shot hit the post moments before her goal.
“Playing here in this stadium and being able to score is special,” Boquete said. “I think that the whole team was motivated for this game because we’re missing some players and after the last loss, we knew we had to give something to our fans.”
Midfielder Amber Brooks assisted on both Portland goals.
“As a whole, we came out with something to prove, both individually and as a whole team,” Brooks said. “We wanted to get off to the races early and apply pressure. It was nice to get that early goal. I think we continued to play well. We were connecting our passes and really communicating, working hard for one another.”
The Thorns attempted 22 shots and put nine on goal, compared with only one shot on target from the Spirit.
Portland goalkeeper Michelle Betos, though credited with only one save in the shutout win, was challenged several times by the Spirit attack. Betos was playing in place of Nadine Angerer, who is with the German national team.
The Thorns also were without five other players away on national team duty.
Alex Morgan, Rachel Van Hollebeke, Allie Long and Tobin Heath are with the U.S national team through Thursday, and Christine Sinclair is with Canada preparing for Wednesday’s match against Angerer’s Germany.
The Thorns and Spirit play again on Saturday in Boyd, Md.