Thorns FC tied a season high with 18 shot attempts, but conceded an 89th-minute
goal to National Women's Soccer League-leading scorer Kim Little in a
hard-fought, 1-0 loss against Seattle Reign FC in front of 14,182 fans at
Providence Park on Saturday.
Portland (2-1-2, 8pts) forced goalkeeper Hope Solo into a season-high nine saves, including six in the second half while pressuring the Reign FC (6-0-0, 18pts) back line throughout the match. Thorns FC delivered six shots on goal in the final 45 minutes, including a header from forward Christine Sinclair that was cleared off the line by defender Elli Reed in the 47th minute. Forward Jessica McDonald saw a header tipped over the crossbar in the 68th minute and, on the ensuing corner kick, midfielder Amber Brooks fired a shot toward the near right post that was caught by Solo.
Seattle earned the game-winning goal in the 89th minute when forward Beverly Goebel was able to pressure a turnover in the Portland's own half. Little raced onto the loose ball at the top of the penalty box and the Scottish international dribbled around goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and slotted a shot into the back of the net for her league-leading fifth goal of the season, snapping Portland's season-opening, four-match unbeaten streak. The loss was Portland's first since Aug. 7, 2013, a span of 277 days.
Angerer made four saves in the match as Thorns FC held Seattle to a season-low five shots on goal. Sinclair finished with a team-high five shots, including three on goal for Portland. Nine different players attempted a shot for Thorns FC in the match.
Early in the match, defender Kat Tarr, making her first career start for Thorns FC, delivered a powerful header toward the near left post following a long cross from Brooks, forcing Solo to tap the ball just over the crossbar. Thorns FC attempted three shots on goal in the first half, including a well-struck shot from McDonald just seconds before halftime that was saved by Solo.
Angerer, who did well to mitigate Seattle's lofted passes over the top of the defense, made one save in the opening 45 minutes, smothering a low shot from forward Danielle Foxhoven in the 37th minute. Fielding a defensive back four including two rookies, Thorns FC contained U.S. Women's National Team forward Sydney Leroux, holding her without a shot on goal in the match.
Thorns FC travel to face expansion side Houston Dash for the second time this season in a midweek road game on Wednesday, May 14, at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kickoff for Wednesday's match is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature a live television broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Northwest in addition to a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
Release from Portland Thorns