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Ellie Carpenter becomes youngest goal scorer in NWSL history, leads Portland Thorns past Washington Spirit

Ellie Carpenter made NWSL history Saturday night.

The 18-year-old Australian right back scored a late goal in the second half, becoming the youngest goal scorer in league history and lifting the Portland Thorns to a 1-0 road victory over the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

The win snapped a five-game winless streak for the Thorns (3-3-3, 12 points), who haven’t won a match since April 15 when Portland defeated the Orlando Pride 2-1 at home.

The Spirit (1-5-2, five points) controlled most of the match and could have opened the scoring several times, including an opportunity in the 54th minute when Mallory Pugh made a run down the field, serving a wide pass to Ashley Hatch, whose shot went wide of the goal.

In the 69th minute, Carpenter scored the lone goal of the game. A giveaway in the middle resulted in Tobin Heath sending a low ball toward the box, finding Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, who then flicked the ball to the Australian to score her first goal of the season.

Andi Sullivan gave the Spirit one last chance to equalize in the 93rd minute of stoppage time when a long-range shoot was saved by Portland goalkeeper Britt Eckerstorm.

The Spirit won the possession game with 50.7 percent and outshot the Thorns 14-10.

The Thorns are back home on Friday when they host the Utah Royals at Providence Park at 7:30 p.m. local time. The Spirit hosts a winless Sky Blue FC on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m ET.

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