PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Squaring off against Sky Blue FC for the second time in a nine-day span, Portland Thorns FC could not overcome an early second-half goal in a 1-0 road loss in front of 3,014 fans on Saturday evening at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J.
The two teams combined to create a handful of chances in the opening 45 minutes until forward Sam Kerr, making her Sky Blue FC debut on Saturday, finished a header in the penalty box off a cross from Maya Hayes in the 52nd minute to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Thorns FC (3-4-4, 13pts) held a 7-5 edge in shots in the second half. Forward Ayo looked dangerous early in the second half, firing a shot just over the crossbar after receiving a pass from midfielder Mana Shim in the opening minute. Reigning NWSL Player of the Week Sinead Farrelly made a back-post run on a free kick from midfielder Allie Long in the 65th minute, connecting with a header from point-blank range, but Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron stood her ground to make the save. With the win, Sky Blue FC improved its record to 2-6-4 (10pts) overall this season.
Leading the Portland attack, Ayo finished the match with four shots, including a final header late in second-half stoppage time off a cross from forward Hanna Terry. Ayo found enough space inside the box to put a looping header on frame, but at the last moment Cameron leaped to tip the attempt over the crossbar.
Next up, Thorns FC return to the Rose City for a home match against Cascadia-rival Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday, July 22, at Providence Park; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific). The match will feature a web stream on www.FOXSportsGO.com and on tablets and mobile devices via the FOX Sports GO app.
- Defender Emily Menges started her 19th consecutive match, dating back to the 2014 season.
- Midfielder Sinead Farrelly remains the only Thorns FC player to start and play 90 minutes in every match this season.
- Forward Ayo registered four or more shots in a match for the fifth time in seven appearances this season since joining Thorns FC in 2015.
- Midfielder Mana Shim made her 47th career appearance for Thorns FC, moving into sole possession of second place in career appearances for the club.
- Midfielder Kaylyn Kyle started and logged 90 minutes for a second consecutive match upon returning from the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Saturday marked Kyle’s 45th career NWSL appearance.
- Despite the loss, Portland has only surrendered multiple goals in three of its 11 matches this season.
- Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath were in attendance and recognized prior to the match for their FIFA Women’s World Cup championship with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Portland Thorns FC (3-4-4, 13pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (2-6-4, 10pts)
July 11, 2015 – Yurcak Field (Piscataway, N.J.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
Sky Blue FC 0 1 1
SKY: Kerr (Hayes), 52
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Michelle Betos, D Rachel Van Hollebeke (Terry, 68), D Kat Williamson ©, D Emily Menges, D Alyssa Kleiner, M Allie Long, M Kaylyn Kyle, M Kendall Johnson (Comeau, 89), M Sinead Farrelly, F Mana Shim (Haycook, 90), F Ayo
Substitutes Not Used: GK Emily Kruger
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Ayo, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Farrelly, Ayo, 2); FOULS: 14 (Johnson, 6); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
SKY: GK Brittany Cameron ©, D Kristin Grubka, D Lindsi Cutshall, D Caitlin Foord, D Maya Hayes, M Nikki Stanton, M Sarah Killion (Gordon, 60), M Taylor Lytle (Filigno, 88), M Katy Freels, F Sam Kerr, F Nadia Nadim
Substitutes Not Used: GK Aubrey Bledsoe, M Hayley Haagsma, D CoCo Goodson, M Theresa Diederich
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Kerr, Nadim, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players, 1); FOULS: 12 (Stanton, 4); OFFSIDES: 8; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 5
Referee: Randall Kelley
Assistant Referees: Hagan Barnett, Logan Brown
4th Official: Artur Sigba
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.