NWSL: Portland Thorns go five points clear

In the NWSL Portland Thorns go five points clear with second win of the week, beating Orlando Pride away from home. Thorns continue fine form.

The Portland Thorns have increased their lead in the National Women’s Soccer League to five points over second place Chicago Red Stars after defeating Orlando Pride 2-1 on Sunday. The Thorns stayed unbeaten in 2016 following a come from behind victory against the Pride.

Orlando went ahead in the 67th minute through striker Jasmyne Spencer. Her driving shot from outside the 18-yard box left Portland goalkeeper Michelle Betos helplessly lunging to make a save. Despite the Pride leading late into the second half, however, the Thorns rallied in the 80th minute.

Portland center-back Emily Sonnett played a hopeful long ball out of defense that found the head of Christine Sinclair. The Canadian international’s flick found the on rushing Dagny Brynjarsdottir who hit the ball on the half-volley. Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a half-hearted effort at the shot, but her dive came up short. Brynjarsdottir’s goal leveled the match, which looked destined to finish 1-1.

However, in the 90th minute Portland found the winner as Sinclair’s diagonal cross found Hayley Raso free on the left side of the attack. Raso took the ball to the end line before crossing to Lindsey Horan to slot home, giving the Thorns a 2-1 win and five point cushion at the top of the table.

Western New York Flash got back to winning ways with an emphatic win over the demoralized Boston Breakers, 7-1. The Flash scored early and didn’t look back as Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald both tallied for Western New York before the half hour mark.

Boston did pull a goal back just before halftime through Christen Westphal, however, one minute later Williams had her second of the match. Western New York would get two more before halftime as McDonald tallied her second strike and Makenzy Doniak found the back of the net to make it 5-1 at halftime.

The Flash were not finished there, as McDonald rounded out her hat-trick in the 49th minute by poking home Williams’ pin-point cross. Taylor Smith then added the Flash’s seventh in the 63rd minute. The Breakers were completely embarrassed during the 90 minutes as the team continue to prop up the NWSL table.

Western New York Flash vs. Boston Breakers

Western New York Flash vs. Boston Breakers Rhinos Stadium – Rochester, N.Y. 7:00 p.m. ET

Sky Blue FC topped rivals Washington Spirit 2-1 to improve the team’s NWSL playoff prospects. The scoreline slightly flattered the Spirit as Sky Blue were two goals to the good after 65 minutes. Sky Blue’s Raquel Rodriguez got Sky Blue’s first goal firing past Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Sam Kerr added to the Sky Blue’s lead just after the hour-mark to all but seal the victory. The Spirit pulled a goal back in the 77th minute as Diana Matheson headed home Estefania Banini’s cross. However, the Spirit couldn’t find an equalizer. The win moves Sky Blue to 13 points, four points behind the NWSL’s top four.

In the final game of the weekend, FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign finished nil-nil.

As with all NWSL games, fans can watch all the matches in full on YouTube.

Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his latest book, Soccer Travels, in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.


Drew Farmer
I am a freelance journalist and author currently living in Manchester, England. Originally from the USA, I have written about sports and travel for years.I have written for Hopeless Football Romantic magazine, The Football Pink magazine, World Soccer Talk, Sports Collectors Daily, Forza Italian Football and many more. My debut book Soccer Travels was released in spring 2016, and details travelling to soccer matches around the globe. It can be purchased on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.