KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Reaching the postseason for a second straight year, Portland Thorns FC saw their 2014 campaign come to an end on Saturday in a 2-0 loss against FC Kansas City in the semifinals of the NWSL Playoffs in front of 2,997 fans at Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Both teams battled to keep possession and create chances in the first half as FC Kansas City held a 6-4 edge in shots. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer denied FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez on the counter attack, parrying away Rodriguez’s shot from close range before it was cleared away by the Portland defense in the 36th minute.
Midfielder Vero Boquete nearly gave Thorns FC the lead right before the end of the half. Boquete dribbled down the right side of the box, hitting a shot from a tight angle near the goal box that ricocheted off the post.
FC Kansas City broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, linking together a series of passes that led to a goal by Rodriguez. After receiving a pass from midfielder Erika Tymrak, forward Lauren Holiday dribbled at the Thorns backline before slotting a diagonal ball to Rodriguez running into the left side of the box. Rodriguez dribbled around Angerer and finished into the open net.
In the 87th minute, Holiday made a well-timed run in the box and received the ball near the left side of the goal box before finishing the pass from forward Sarah Hagen to double FC Kansas City’s lead, 2-0.
Angerer made four saves in her NWSL Playoffs debut, while a total of seven Portland players appeared in the postseason for the first time, including defenders Steph Catley, Becca Moros and Emily Menges, midfielders Amber Brooks and Boquete and forward Jessica McDonald.
- Six Thorns FC starters made their first appearance in a NWSL playoff game: Nadine Angerer, Vero Boquete, Amber Brooks, Becca Moros, Emily Menges and Steph Catley. Forward Jessica McDonald also made her first NWSL playoff appearance coming in as a second-half sub.
- Thorns FC and FC Kansas City are the only two teams from the 2013 season to return to the playoffs in 2014 and met on Saturday in the semifinals for a second straight year.
- Portland and FC Kansas City finished scoreless at halftime for the first time in eight meetings all-time in all competitions.
- Defender/midfielder Sarah Huffman made her first appearance for Thorns FC in the playoffs on Saturday. Huffman played with the Western New York Flash during the 2013 NWSL Playoffs.
- Portland was without the services of defender Nikki Marshall, who has appeared in a club record 46 consecutive regular-season matches. Marshall suffered a season-ending knee injury on Aug. 17 against Seattle. Marshall had appeared in every match for Portland in two seasons, including both matches during the 2013 playoffs.
Portland Thorns FC vs. FC Kansas City
Aug. 23, 2014 – Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
FC Kansas City 0 2 2
FCKC: Rodriguez (Holiday), 65
FCKC: Holiday (Hagen), 87
POR: Menges (Caution), 22
FCKC: Kallmann (Caution), 84
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Nadine Angerer, D Becca Moros (Sarah Huffman, 89), D Rachel Van Hollebeke, D Emily Menges D Steph Catley, M Allie Long, M Amber Brooks, M Vero Boquete, M Tobin Heath (Jessica McDonald, 67), F Christine Sinclair © (Mana Shim, 79), F Alex Morgan
Substitutes Not Used: GK Michelle Betos, F Hanna Terry, M Angie Kerr, M Sinead Farrelly
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Morgan, Boquete, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Boquete, 1); FOULS: 5 (Five players, 1); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4
FCKC: GK Nicole Barnhart, D Kassey Kallmann, D Nikki Phillips, D Leigh Ann Robinson, D Becky Sauerbrunn ©, M Jen Buczkowski, M Jenna Richmond, M Merritt Mathias (Amy LePeilbet, 86), M Erika Tymrak (Katrina Gorry, 90+4), F Lauren Holiday, F Amy Rodriguez (Sarah Hagen, 84)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Sara Keane, F Liz Bogus, F Morgan Marlborough, F Frances Silva
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Holiday, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Holiday, 2); FOULS: 7 (Buczkowski, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Chris Spivey
Assistant Referees: Amanda Ross, Kathryn Nesbitt
4th Official: David Mon
Weather: Sunny, 95 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial