Thorns, Houston draw 1-1
A dominant first half was only enough to get the Portland Thorns a draw on Wednesday at Houston.
Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic scored her first Thorns goal in the first half, but the Dash tied it midway through the second half in a National Women's Soccer League match that finished in a 1-1 draw.
The Thorns (2-2-3, 9 points) are winless in four consecutive games.
The Dash (1-3-3, 6 points) are seventh in the NWSL standings.
Crnogorcevic scored in the 25th minute. Midge Purce was able to dribble into the right side of the penalty area. Her cross created a scramble situation. Christine Sinclair eventually was able to pop the ball into space and Crnogorcevic retreated to find the ball then turned and fired it into the goal.
Despite having 70 percent possession, the Thorns struggled to create clean scoring chances in the first half. And that lack of production proved costly when Houston's Kyah Simon scored in the 58th minute with a sharp, low shot from the right side of the penalty area that hit the inside of the left post to tie the score.
Portland goalkeeper Brit Eckerstrom was forced to make a pair of reaction stops within eight minutes of the tying goal. She finished with five saves.
The Thorns best chances in the second half came from set pieces. In the 72nd minute, Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell pulled in a looping header by Crnogorcevic.
In the 81st minute, Janine Van Wyk headed the ball out of the goal mouth. A sharp header by Lindsey Horan from a corner kick appeared destined to put Portland back on top until Van Wyk reacted.
Tobin Heath and Andressinha each made her first start of the season for the Thorns. Heath played 64 minutes before she was replaced by Tyler Lussi. Andressinha played 66 minutes before giving way to Celeste Boureille.
Australian defender Ellie Carpenter became the youngest player to participate in a NWSL match (18 years, 11 days old) when she made her Thorns debut, coming on in the 71st minute after Kelli Hubly appeared to take a knock to her knee.
The Dash outshot the Thorns 6-4 on goal. Portland took 11 total shots to Houston's 10.
The Thorns' busy week continues on Saturday. Orlando visits Providence Park for a nationally-televised 12:30 p.m. match (Lifetime). The Pride (tied with Portland at 2-2-3) played a scoreless draw at Utah on Wednesday.