PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their 100th match in club history, Portland Thorns FC received a second-half goal from forward Hayley Raso in the 70th minute and recorded their seventh shutout of the season, earning a 1-0 win over the North Carolina Courage in front of 16,804 fans at Providence Park on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Thorns FC (6-4-4, 22pts) improved to 5-1-1 at home this season, recording their fifth clean sheet at Providence Park. Portland is now tied for the league lead with seven clean sheets, and has equaled the club record for shutouts in a single season set in both 2013 and 2016.
Controlling the possession, Thorns FC limited one of the top scoring offenses in the league to two shots on goal in the match. Defender Emily Sonnett intervened with a crucial block in the 81st minute to deny forward Jessica McDonald from close range, while goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made a key save to push defender Taylor Smith’s shot from distance off the crossbar in the 90th minute.
Starting out on the front foot, Portland posted a 6-3 edge in shots in the first half, but the game remained scoreless heading into the second half. Continuing to generate chances, forward Christine Sinclair nearly opened the scoring in the 51st minute, settling the ball after it deflected off a North Carolina player at the right post. Sinclair quickly turned and fired a shot from a tight angle, but Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland reacted to make the save.
Midfielder Lindsey Horan, who finished with a team-high three shots, received a pass from Sinclair near the edge of the box in the 69th minute, delivering a curling strike towards the top right corner, but Rowland was able to get a hand to the ball, tipping it off the crossbar.
Less than two minutes later, Raso netted her second goal of the season, getting on the end of a cross played into the box from the left wing by defender Meghan Klingenberg, directing the cross off the left post with a header from close range. The assist was Klingenberg’s team-leading third of the season.
Remaining at home, Thorns FC play host to the Washington Spirit at Providence Park on Saturday, July 22. The July 22 match kicks off at 7 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live, high-definition web stream available at www.nwslsoccer.com and www.go90.com.
- Saturday’s match marked the 100th match in club history for Thorns FC.
- Portland registered its seventh clean sheet of the season, which is tied for the most in the NWSL in 2017.
- Thorns FC are the only team to shut out the North Carolina Courage this season.
- Portland improved to 5-1-1 on the season at Providence Park with five clean sheets.
- Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 12-5 at home this season.
- Defender Meghan Klingenberg registered her team-leading third assist of the season.
- Thorns FC are 3-0-0 when their game is the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.
- Portland recorded its 14th headed goal since the beginning of the season, which is the most in the NWSL.
- Rookie forward Tyler Lussi made her first career start in the match. Lussi is the fourth player drafted by Portland to earn a start in her first season with the club.
- Midfielder Allie Long finished the match with a 92.5 percent passing accuracy. Long has recorded more matches (6) with a passing accuracy of better than 90 percent than any player in the league in 2017.
- Defender Kelli Hubly made her professional debut in the match, entering the match as a second-half substitute.
Portland Thorns FC (6-4-4, 22pts) vs. North Carolina Courage (9-5-0, 27pts)
July 15, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
NC Courage 0 0 0
Portland Thorns FC 0 1 1
POR: Raso (Klingenberg), 70
NC: Smith (caution), 58
POR: Raso (caution), 62
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Boureille, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Long, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Sykes (Cox, 75), F Raso (Hubly, 84), F Lussi (Weber, 80)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Johnson, M Herndon, D Reynolds
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Horan, Lussi, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Horan, Lussi, 2); FOULS: 7 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 2
NC: GK Rowland, D Smith, D Erceg ©, D Dahlkemper, D Hinkle, M Mewis, M Zerboni, M Debinha (Eddy, 72), M Doniak (Ochs, 80), F Williams, F Hatch (McDonald, 63)
Substitutes Not Used: GK D’Angelo, M Witteman
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Zerboni, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Hatch, McDonald, 1); FOULS: 10 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 4
Referee: Ekateria Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Ryan Cook
4th Official: Andrew Deuker
Weather: Sunny, 74 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.