Thorns Defense, Thorns vs Gotham FC, 07.11.21

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC recorded a second consecutive shutout and move into a three-way tie for first place in the NWSL with a scoreless draw against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park.

Portland (5-3-1, 16pts) joins the North Carlina Courage and Orlando Pride – all on 16 points – at the top of the table through Week 8 of the 2021 regular season.

After earning a clean sheet on the road in a win at Racing Louisville FC in their last match, the Thorns defense picked up right where it left off. Gotham FC (3-1-4, 13pts) was held to just two shots on goal; limited to just 10 shots overall.

Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby, making her Providence Park debut, made two critical saves to earn her second NWSL shutout, including a diving stop in the 73rd minute on a skipping shot towards the left post.

The Thorns FC attack – which leads the league in both shots and chances created – was on full display, attempting 22 shots, and did all but find the back of the net. Forward Morgan Weaver and midfielder Rocky Rodríguez each took a team-high five shots.

The Thorns nearly found the scoresheet twice in the first half. Defender Kelli Hubly’s shot came within inches of the goal line in the 15th minute, while Weaver’s shot was cleared off the line in the 27th minute by a Gotham FC defender.

In the second half, Weaver had two of the club’s chances on goal, with a blistering shot from beyond the box rattle the top right corner of the goal frame and had a bouncing shot at the left post pushed wide at the last second. Rodríguez, Sophia Smith and Simone Charley all had shots just narrowly miss the mark.

Notes:

  • Portland recorded its sixth clean sheet of the 2021 campaign, which is the most in the league.
  • Thorns FC have recorded a league-best four home shutouts in NWSL regular-season play.
  • Portland has not allowed a goal at Providence Park in the last 345 minutes of play.
  • Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last nine matches (4-0-5) across all competitions against Gotham FC.
  • Portland is 9-6-6 all-time against Gotham FC in league play.
  • Bella Bixby made her Providence Park debut, and her second appearance of the season.
  • Bixby has four clean sheets in six career appearances across all competitions for the club.
  • Morgan Weaver and Rocky Rodríguez led the team in shots with five each.
  • Meghan Klingenberg led the team with five chances created.
  • Yazmeen Ryan made her Providence Park debut, and her third appearance for Thorns FC.
  • Olivia Moultrie made her second career appearance, and her Providence Park debut.
  • Twenty-one different players have made an appearance for Portland in the 2021 campaign.

Portland Thorns FC (5-3-1, 16pts) vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC (3-1-4, 13pts)

July 11, 2021 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
NJ/NY Gotham FC 0 0 0

Scoring Summary:
n/a

Misconduct Summary:
NJ/NY: Lewandowski (caution), 10
NJ/NY: Purce (caution), 29
NJ/NY: Kawasumi (caution), 33
NJ/NY: Dorsey (caution), 90+2

Lineups:
POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Menges ©, D Hubly, D Klingenberg (Pogarch, 83), M Rodríguez, M Salem (Westphal, 83), M Boureille (Ryan, 56), M Everett (Moultrie, 68), F Weaver, F Charley (Smith, 57)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, D Nally, D Betfort, M Strom-Okimoto

TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Rodríguez, Weaver, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Weaver, 2); FOULS: 11 (Kuikka, Pogarch, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2

NJ/NY: GK Haracic, D Flores (Dydasco, 46), D Lewandowski, D Johnson, D Dorsey, M Kawasumi (Eddy, 71), M Long, M Zerboni © (Cudjoe, 55), F Lee (Thiney, 71), F Purce, F Onumonu

Substitutes Not Used: GK McGlynn, D Pinto, M Richardson, M Wright, M Sheehan

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Lee, Purce, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Lewandowski, Dorsey, 1); FOULS: 11 (Purce, Onumonu, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 4

Referee: Tori Penso
Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Kali Smith
4th Official: Corbyn May
Attendance: 14,731
Weather: Sunny, 87 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

Full matchday round-up on draw vs Gotham FC:

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