Bay FC’s opening-season struggles continued Wednesday as it fell behind by two early in the first half and then gave up the winning goal in the 78th minute in a 3-2 loss to the Portland Thorns before an announced crowd of 10,611 at PayPal Park in San Jose.

With the game tied 2-2, Portland’s Sophia Smith scored her second goal on a dazzling individual effort in the 78th minute.

With defender Alyssa Malonson in front of her just inside the penalty area, Smith darted to her left and then rifled a left-footed shot that Bay FC goalie Lysianne Proulx got a hand on but couldn’t fully stop as the Thorns (3-3-1) took the lead for good.

Smith, who signed a contract extension with Portland in March that gave her, at the time, the National Women’s Soccer League’s highest annual salary, also scored in the seventh minute, converting a breakaway chance and giving Portland a 2-0 lead. Her teammate, Payton Linnehan, scored 90 seconds into the game.

Smith is the NWSL’s leading scorer with seven goals and three assists in seven games. She also leads the league with 26 shots.

The loss was Bay FC’s fifth in the last six games since its season-opening 1-0 win over Angel City FC. Four of those losses were by one goal.

Bay FC (2-5-0) is alone in 10th place in the 14-team league and it has allowed a league-high 17 goals.

After the opening minutes, Bay FC recovered and tied the game in the second half. After Racheal Kundananji scored in the 41st minute, Deyna Castellanos scored in the 60th minute off a highlight-reel assist from Rachael Kundananji.

Kundananji, acquired in February from Spanish club Madrid CFF in exchange for a transfer fee of $788,000, dribbled the ball halfway up the field and into the box before she sent a crossing pass to Castellanos for the tap-in goal.

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Bay FC hosts the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday at 5 p.m.



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