The defending National Women’s Soccer League champions, the Portland Thorns, are headed back to the league final for the third time in franchise history.
The Thorns, who had the league’s second-best regular season record, won Saturday’s semi-final game with a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Reign (who finished the regular season in third).
The Reign scored the first goal of the match, but the Thorns came back with two of their own goals later on in front of their own crowd at Providence Park in Portland.
Some well-known players on the Thorns include Christine Sinclair of the Canadian women’s national team, and Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath of the American women’s national team. It was Heath and Horan who scored the two goals that gave the Thorns their golden ticket to the finals. Jasmyne Spencer scored the Reign’s lone goal.
Horan was presented the season’s last Player of the Week recognition for her two-goal performances in the Thorns’ last two games of the season. One of those games was a 3-1 win over Seattle, which helped the Thorns move into second place and bump Seattle to third. The win also gave the Thorns the home field advantage in the semi-final.
The Thorns have the luxury of home field advantage yet again at the championship match on Saturday, September 22.
The Thorns will face the winner of Tuesday’s semi-final match that features the Chicago Red Stars and the North Carolina Courage, who only lost one game all season and are the 2018 NWSL Shield winners (the title for the team with the best regular season record).
27:59 – Jasmyne Spencer scores the first goal of the game after capitalizing on the rebound from Megan Rapinoe’s free kick.
42:53 – Tobin Heath ties it up with a goal shot from just inside the 18-yard box, assisted by Lindsey Horan.
68:07 – Heath scores again but the goal is disallowed due to offside.
75:59 – Christine Sinclair sends a cross into the Reign’s box and it’s headed into the net by Horan. 2-1 for Portland.