NWSL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH RECAP | North Carolina Courage 0, Portland Thorns FC 1

ORLANDO, Fla. – Midfielder Lindsey Horan played the hero as her second-half goal powered Portland Thorns FC to their second ever NWSL title in a 1-0 defeat of the North Carolina Courage 1-0 in the 2017 NWSL Championship at Orlando City Stadium in front of a crowd of 8,124. 

Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made five saves and the Thorns defense shutout a frenetic Courage attack to earn the clean sheet. Horan's performance earned her the NWSL Championship Most Valuable Player Award.

Match Moments

14' - CHANCE (NC) - Courage midfielder Samantha Mewis caught Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch off her line with a long shot from midfield that floated over and off the crossbar.

35' - SAVE (POR) - On a North Carolina corner, the ball bounced out to Courage midfielder Denise O'Sullivan. She shot from outside the box but Franch dove to her left to make the save.

40' - CHANCE (POR) - Tobin Heath, holding the ball up at the edge of the area, laid it off for the onrushing Lindsey Horan. Horan took a touch but hit her shot over the bar.

47' - SAVE (POR) - Franch came up big with a diving save on a shot from Lynn Williams before the Thorns defense then cleared the ball away.

50' - GOAL (POR) - Lindsey Horan, sitting unmarked on the back post for a long set piece delivery from Emily Sonnett, received the ball before firing on the half volley from close range to put the Thorns up 1-0.

68' - SAVE (POR) - The Courage's Williams again had a shot from the right but Franch was in the right spot to make the stop.

71' - CHANCE (POR) - A second-half sub for Portland, forward Nadia Nadim forced the Courage backline into a turnover, scrambled for the loose ball but North Carolina goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland somehow made a save.

82' - BLOCK (POR) - Thorns defender Emily Menges, beat for a moment in the box by Courage forward Jessica McDonald, recovered brilliantly before getting in front of McDonald's shot to block the ball away.

90+1' - SAVE (POR) - Franch again came up big when she alertly covered her near post to make a save on a flicked-on header from NC's Mewis in the dying moments of the match.

2017 NWSL Championship
Portland Thorns FC vs. North Carolina Courage

Oct. 14, 2017 – Orlando City Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
North Carolina Courage 0          0          0
Portland Thorns FC       0          1          1

Scoring Summary
POR: Horan (Sonnett), 50

Misconduct Summary
POR: Heath (caution), 41
POR: Raso (caution), 45+1
POR: Brynjarsdottir (caution), 72

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Henry (Long, 90+2), M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Sykes (Brynjarsdottir, 54), F Raso (Nadim, 69), F Heath 

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Boureille, F Weber, F Lussi 

TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Horan, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 13 (Heath, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 5

NC: GK Rowland, D Smith (Doniak, 12), D Dahlkemper, D Erceg ©, D Hinkle, M Zerboni, M Mewis, M O’Sullivan (Ochs, M Hamilton (McDonald, 39), F Williams, F Hatch   

Substitutes Not Used: GK D’Angelo, D Holstad Berge, D Speck, D Witteman

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Mewis, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Williams, 2); FOULS: 11 (Zerboni, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2

Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Adrienne McDonald, Cory Richardson
4th Official: Christina Unkel
5th Official: Benjamin Wooten
Attendance: 8,124
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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