NWSL MATCH RECAP | Western New York Flash 1, Portland Thorns FC 1
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Forward Jessica McDonald tallied a goal in a second consecutive match and the Portland Thorns FC defense didn’t allow a shot on goal in the second half to earn a come-from-behind, 1-1 draw on the road against the Western New York Flash Saturday night in front of 3,674 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
Thorns FC (2-0-2, 8pts) had the better of possession throughout the match, but Western New York (1-1-1, 4pts) claimed the lead off a free kick in the 39th minute by Flash forward Sonia Bermudez. Portland earned the equalizing goal just four minutes later as McDonald registered her third goal in the last two matches, helping Portland extend its season-opening unbeaten streak to four games.
Saturday’s match featured a 43-minute delay due to lightning just eight minutes into the game.
Playing their third away game of the season and seventh in their last eight matches in all competitions dating back to the 2013 season, Thorns FC held the Flash to a season-low eight shots, including just three shots on goal. Portland extended its road unbeaten streak to seven matches with the draw, dating back to the end of the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.
McDonald tallied the equalizer for Thorns FC on a rebound following a cross from midfielder Sarah Huffman that was mishandled by Flash goalkeeper Lydia Williams in the 43rd minute. Huffman tallied her first assist of the season in her first start for Thorns FC.
Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer made two saves, including forcing a shot from forward Abby Wambach off the post in the 29th minute. The two sides finished level on shots with eight apiece, while Portland earned the advantage in shots on goal, 6-3, and corner kicks, 7-4.
Thorns FC got off the mark quickly, testing Williams in the first minute after a McDonald throw-in was sent toward goal by midfielder Allie Long, but the Flash goalkeeper made the save. Western New York grabbed the lead when Bermudez, making her NWSL debut, curled a free kick from just outside the box in off the crossbar.
Thorns FC created several opportunities in the closing stages of the match as second-half substitute Meleana Shim had a deflected shot saved by Williams and midfielder Sinead Farrelly saw a header blocked.
Thorns FC return to Providence Park for their next match, squaring off against Seattle Reign FC on Saturday, May 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific). Tickets, starting at $13, are available for purchase online at www.portlandthornsfc.com, by calling (888) 736-6849 or through the Providence Park box office.
- Saturday marked the first of three regular-season games between Thorns FC and Western New York Flash in 2014. The teams will meet twice at Providence Park, May 21 and June 7.
- Portland and Western New York have drawn all three regular-season meetings, the only difference being the 2013 NWSL Championship match, which Portland won 2-0 at Sahlen’s Stadium.
- Midfielder Allie Long and defender Nikki Marshall each started their 26th consecutive match for Thorns FC dating back to the 2013 season.
- Having scored a goal in consecutive matches, McDonald becomes the second Thorns FC player this season to register a goal in back-to-back games.
- Midfielder Sarah Huffman registered her first assist and her first start of the season on Saturday against Western New York.
Portland Thorns FC (2-0-2, 8pts) at Western New York Flash (1-1-1, 4pts)
May 3, 2014 – Sahlen’s Stadium (Rochester, NY)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
Western New York Flash 1 0 1
WNY: Bermudez, 39
POR: McDonald (Huffman), 43
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Nadine Angerer, D Courtney Niemiec, D Nikki Marshall, D Emily Menges, D Sarah Huffman (Rebecca Moros, 64), M Sinead Farrelly, M Amber Brooks, M Angie Kerr (Meleana Shim, 63), M Allie Long, F Christine Sinclair ©, F Jessica McDonald
Substitutes Not Used: GK Michelle Betos, D Katarina Tarr, F Jackie Acevedo
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Long, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Six players tied, 1); FOULS: 8 (Niemiec, Marshall, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2
WNY: GK Lydia Williams, D Katherine Reynolds, D Brittany Taylor, D Kathryn Williamson, D Kristen Edmonds, M McCall Zerboni (Amy Barczuk, 84), M Angela Salem, M Vicky Losada (Courtney Wetzel, 74), M Samantha Kerr (Jasmyne Spencer, 74), F Abby Wambach ©, F Sonia Bermudez
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kelsey Wys, D Haley Palmer, F Courtney Verloo, F Emma Kete
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Bermudez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Wambach, 2); FOULS: 5 (Taylor, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referees: Rebekah Friedrich, Adrienne McDonald
4th Official: David Mon
Weather: Rain, 55 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial