Thorns goalkeeper speaks on setting records, teamwork and family

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:02 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Thorns are getting ready to hit the road for their final game of the regular season, but Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby has set a new National Women’s Soccer League record.

Bixby leads the league in clean sheets, snagging her ninth one on Sunday against Chicago. But in her words, the best defense is a good offense and attributes her accolades to her teammates. These honors may be exciting, she said, but it’s not a priority and she just wants to do good by her team.

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“I’m not getting wrapped up in my number of clean sheets because if I show up and do my job and contribute to our team goal then they’ll come,” Bixby said.

Last season, Bixby lost her father days before the Thorns were set to play in the semi-finals. The Thorns lost and this time of year brings back heavy memories. Almost a year later, she reflects on that time and also that Wednesday, Sept. 28, would have been his 65th birthday.

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“This time of year, we would spend a lot of time fishing right now in salmon run,” Bixby said. “So I’ve been doing that without him which has been tough, but it’s great that I still got to do something that we used to do together. I think about him a lot when I’m playing and makes me feel really grateful that I had him. And my mother is such a great support system growing up, playing soccer.”

The Thorns will play Gotham FC on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m.