Portland Thorns top Seattle 2-1 in home opener - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Thorns top Seattle 2-1 in home opener

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

[PortlandThornsFC.com]

Defender Marian Dougherty and forward Alex Morgan scored on each side of halftime leading Portland Thorns FC to a 2-1 win over Seattle Reign FC in the team's home-opening match before a record-setting crowd of 16,479 at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday.

Sunday's attendance was larger than any single-game crowd during the three-year duration of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) from 2009-11 and also ranks among the top single-game attendance marks in women's professional soccer history in the United States.

With the win, Portland is unbeaten in its first two games and moved into first place in the league standings. Thorns FC outshot Seattle 11-7, including 5-2 on goal, and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc collected one save while Morgan registered a team-high four shots in the match.

Dougherty put Thorns FC ahead with a glancing header in the 45th minute that beat Seattle goalkeeper Michelle Betos inside the far post. As midfielder Nikki Washington delivered a free kick from the right side into the box, Dougherty positioned herself near the right edge of the six-yard box and headed the ball into the net with her back toward goal for the team's first-ever goal scored at JELD-WEN Field.

Morgan provided Thorns FC with a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute after forward Christine Sinclair settled a loose ball in the Reign FC third of the field and threaded a pass across the box for Morgan to finish with a left-footed shot. The goal marked Morgan's first-career goal for Portland, while Sinclair earned a point for the second consecutive match after notching the game-tying goal on April 13 against FC Kansas City.

Despite sustained pressure from Portland, which saw shots from Morgan and midfielder Allie Long flash wide of the goal before the hour mark, Reign FC halved Portland's lead in the 74th minute through midfielder Jessica Fishlock.

After a collision at the top of the box between Seattle midfielder Keelin Winters and Thorns FC defender Rachel Buehler, Fishlock controlled the loose ball and slotted a left-footed shot inside the left post.

The physical match featured 21 combined fouls and six yellow cards, three for each team.

Thorns FC take to the road on April 27 against the Chicago Red Stars at Benedictine Sports Complex in Lisle, Ill. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific). Portland plays three consecutive road games before returning home to JELD-WEN Field on May 16 against Sky Blue FC.

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