PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC closed out their 2017 Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook against the Houston Dash in front of 7,252 fans on Saturday night at Providence Park, marking their third game in a seven-day span in preparation for their 2017 NWSL opener on April 15. Mana Shim scored in the first half for Thorns FC, while Rachel Daly leveled the match for Houston in the second half of a 1-1 draw.
Shim put Portland ahead with an early strike from distance less than 20 minutes into the first half. Settling the ball near the edge of the box, Shim delivered a well-placed shot into the upper-right corner in the 17th minute. The goal was Shim’s first of the 2017 preseason and her third career preseason goal.
A total of 14 players made an appearance in the match for Portland, including Meg Morris and Britt Eckerstrom who both made their preseason debuts. Morris returned to the field for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury in a road match during the 2016 regular season against the Western New York Flash on June 15, while Eckerstrom made her first appearance since joining the club in the offseason as part of a trade with the North Carolina Courage.
Pushing for the game winner after Daly delivered a powerful strike from distance in the 76th minute for Houston, Thorns FC created several scoring opportunities in the final five minutes of play. Kelli Hubly beat a Dash defender near the end line and fired a shot from a tight angle near the right post, forcing a tip save over the crossbar by Houston goalkeeper Lydia Williams in the 87th minute. Moments later, Shim settled a cross played into the box from the left flank at the back post, sending a half-volley attempt just over the crossbar, while deep in second-half stoppage time Mallory Weber forced a save from close range by Williams after she controlled a chipped pass played in over the top by Celeste Boureille.
Wrapping up the tournament in the first game of the day, the Chicago Red Stars and U.S. U-23 WNT played to a scoreless draw in the opening game on the final day of the tournament.
Next up, Thorns FC play host to the Orlando Pride in their 2017 NWSL and home opener at Providence Park on Saturday, April 15. The match kicks off at 12 noon (Pacific) and features a national television broadcast on Lifetime.
Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash (NWSL Preseason)
April 1, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Houston Dash 0 1 1
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
POR: Shim, 17
HOU: Daly, 76
HOU: Daly (Caution), 28
POR: Nadim (Caution), 43
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Cox, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Johnson (Boon, 62), M Shim, M Hubly, M Boureille, F Herndon (Morris, 75), F Nadim (Fitzgerald, 66), F Weber
Substitutes Not Used: GK Franch, M Eckler
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: 4
HOU: GK Williams, D Poliana (Van Wyk, 90), D Roccaro, D Privett, D Benites, M Brooks ©, M Andressa (Heap, 90), M O’Sullivan, F Ochs, F Daly, F Henderson (Falknor, 69)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Henninger, D Crosson, F Munerlyn
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Weather: Partly cloudy, 57 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.