Janine Van Wyk Preserves Draw Between Houston Dash and Portland Thorns

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HOUSTON, TX - MAY 09: Portland Thorns FC Ana Maria Cmogorcevic (7) and Houston Dash defender Amber Brooks (22) fight for ball during the soccer match between the Portland Thorns and Houston Dash on May 9, 2018 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 9, 2018) — Janine Van Wyk was the hero of Houston on Wednesday’s mid-week match against the Portland Thorns FC.

The 31-year-old defender blocked Lindsey Horan’s attempt in the 81st minute. The attempt came off a corner kick, which would have been assisted by Meghan Klingenberg.

The block preserved a 1-1 draw against the reigning NWSL champions.

Portland originally got on the scoreboard in the 25th minute. Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic lined up a shot in the middle of the box past Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

The goal was assisted by Christine Sinclair.

Houston leveled the match in the 57th minute. Kyah Simon made her way to the right side of the box, besting Thorns goalkeeper Britt Eckerstorm.

Simon’s first goal for the Dash was assisted by Veronica Latsko.

After the match, Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons had a “mixed” reaction to the draw.

“I’m pleased with how we started, and (we) just needed to add more in the first half,” Parsons said. “And in the second half, just disappointed the game finished the way it did. We’ve been pretty good at [limiting counter attacks], and we were good in the first half.”

“We just got a little too open in the second.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Portland’s draw comes at a cost: After spending numerous weeks in second place in the NWSL, the Thorns have dropped to fourth place. Meanwhile, the Seattle Reign and Chicago Red Stars have jumped ahead. The draw comes at a cost for Portland who continue to slip down the table.
  2. Eckerstorm takes a stand: Five saves made by Britt Eckerstorm helped preserve the draw for Portland, as well. Plenty of times, Eckerstorm’s defense fell apart and it was all up to her. For a second-string goalkeeper, she’s coming into her own.
  3. Houston climbs… For now: While the Thorns drop in the NWSL standings, the Houston Dash are rising. However, they are only one point ahead of Washington, who feature this weekend against the North Carolina Courage. It’s still early in the season, but Houston is slowly inching up the standings.

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