NWSL roundup: Lo’eau LaBonta scores twice as Current defeat Thorns

Lo’eau LaBonta recorded a brace in the first half, propelling the Kansas City Current to a 4-1 victory over the host Portland Thorns on Sunday.

LaBonta opened the scoring in the 30th minute before striking again just 10 minutes later for Kansas City (9-0-5, 32 points), which won for the fourth time in six matches (4-0-2) as it continues its season-opening unbeaten run.

Stine Ballisager Pedersen found the back of the net in the 38th minute and Temwa Chawinga scored in the 47th as the Current scored at least four goals in a match for the fifth time this season.

Portland (7-5-2, 23 points) fell for just the second time in 10 matches (7-2-1), getting its lone goal from Sophia Smith in the 73rd minute. The Thorns had a hard time getting to Kansas City goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who finished with five saves.

Shelby Hogan stopped three shots for Portland.

Courage 3, Red Stars 1

Ashley Sanchez scored the go-ahead goal in the 51st minute to send Carolina past Chicago in Cary, N.C.

The Red Stars (5-7-2, 17 points) drew first blood thanks to Mallory Swanson’s goal in the 12th minute, but the Courage (6-7-1, 19 points) drew even when Tyler Lussi scored just four minutes later. Shortly after intermission, Sanchez then put the hosts in front for good.

Meredith Speck put the finishing touches on the victory with a goal in the 81st minute as Carolina snapped a three-match winless streak (0-2-1).

Spirit 2, Gotham 0

Aubrey Kingsbury made three saves and Washington blanked NJ/NY in Harrison, N.J.

Kingsbury made her biggest stop in the 90th minute, denying Katie Stengel on a penalty kick. Stengel had another good look at the net in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, but her shot was too high, and the Gotham (8-3-3, 27 points) went quietly to watch an eight-match unbeaten streak (7-0-1) end.

Courtney Brown and Trinity Rodman scored for the Spirit (10-3-1, 31 points). NJ/NY played a woman down after Yazmeen Ryan was hit with a red card during first-half stoppage time.

Reign 1, Racing Louisville 1

Reilyn Turner scored in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, allowing visiting Louisville to come away with a draw against Seattle.

Reign goalkeeper Claudia Dickey had been stellar until Turner’s late goal, making three saves to keep Racing Louisville (3-4-7, 16 points) off the board. The equalizer came at a cost, though, as Turner appeared to sustain an apparent abdominal injury when Dickey landed on her during the late tally.

Making the rally all the more impressive was the fact that Louisville had played most of the match with just 10 players due to Arin Wright’s red card in the ninth minute. That led to a PK for Bethany Balcer, who converted it in the 10th minute to put Seattle (2-9-3, 9 points) up 1-0.

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