PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Trailing by two after the opening 20 minutes, Portland Thorns FC rallied to score a pair of goals in a two-minute span in the first half and earn a point on the road in a 2-2 draw with Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field on Sunday night. Emily Sonnett notched her first goal of the season, while Tobin Heath scored her second goal of the campaign to help Portland secure a point and remain undefeated through the first three games to open the 2019 season.
Thorns FC (1-0-2, 5pts) extended their unbeaten streak to eight games (5-0-3), dating back to the 2018 season. Portland has scored two or more goals in seven of its last eight matches and all three of its matches in 2019.
Against Sky Blue FC
With the draw, Portland is unbeaten in its last four matches (2-0-2) against Sky Blue FC. Additionally, Thorns FC have earned at least a point in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2) against Sky Blue FC. Notably, Portland is unbeaten in its last four trips (3-0-1) to Yurcak Field.
Heath tallied her second goal of the season in the match. She has now scored a goal in six of her last seven regular-season appearances for Portland. Sonnett scored her first goal of the 2019 season, becoming the fifth player to register a goal for Thorns FC in 2019.
Sunday’s match marked the third consecutive road match for Portland as part of a stretch of six straight road games to begin 2019. Dating back to the conclusion of the 2018 season, Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five road matches (3-0-2).
Sky Blue FC opened the scoring on the counter-attack with a goal in the sixth minute. Sprinting down the right flank, Carli Lloyd received a pass from Raquel Rodriguez, dribbled into the box and fired a shot just inside the right post to put Sky Blue FC up 1-0.
Sky Blue FC increased its lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute. Lloyd intercepted a pass just outside Portland’s box and fired a shot on target inside the box, but Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch came off her line to make the initial stop. Lloyd stuck with the play and finished from a tight angle on the left side of the box.
Thorns FC pulled a goal back after converting on a set piece in the 32nd minute. Heath played a curling ball into the box, picking out Christine Sinclair at the left post. Sinclair calmly slotted the ball across the face of the goal for Sonnett, who finished from close range for her first goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Portland leveled the match at 2-2 in the 34th minute as Heath tallied her second goal of the season. Caitlin Foord dribbled down the right side and played a cross into the center of the box. Heath – surrounded by multiple players and with her back to goal – played a strong back heel past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan into the back of the net.
Heath nearly gave Thorns FC a 3-2 lead on a long set piece deep in first-half stoppage time. Heath served a ball from near midfield into the box. The ball bounced in front of the left post and Sheridan had to react quickly to push the ball just wide of the goal.
In the 61st minute, Portland generated another scoring chance from a set piece. Heath earned a free kick just outside the box and Sinclair lined up for the kick, bending it around the wall toward the left side of the goal, but Sheridan made the diving save.
Continuing to search for the game-winner, Heath delivered a ball into the box on a corner kick in the 87th minute. Sinclair settled the initial ball and played it to Foord near the edge of the six-yard box, but her shot was blocked by a Sky Blue FC defender near the goal line and cleared.
Thorns FC will return to action on Saturday, May 11, traveling for a road match against the Orlando Pride. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be broadcast on Yahoo! Sports.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last eight regular-matches (5-0-3).
- Thorns FC extended their road unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2).
- With the draw, Portland has earned at least one point in seven of its last eight games (5-1-2) against Sky Blue FC.
- Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last four matches (2-0-2) against Sky Blue FC.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last four trips (3-0-1) to Yurcak Field.
- Sonnett scored her first goal of the campaign. She is the fifth player to tally a goal in 2019 for Portland.
- Sonnett’s goal was the fifth of her NWSL career. She has scored a least one goal in each of the last three seasons.
- Sonnett’s five goals ranks tied for third most among defenders since 2016.
- Sinclair recorded her first assist of the season and the 14th of her NWSL career.
- Sinclair’s 14 assists move her into sole possession of second place all-time in career assists for the club.
- Heath scored her second goal of the season and the 11th of her career for Portland.
- With the goal, Heath now ranks sixth all-time in career goals for Thorns FC.
- Sinclair made her 55th consecutive start for Portland, dating back to the 2016 season.
- Dagny Brynjarsdottir made her first start of the 2019 season. It was her first start since Aug. 19, 2017, against the Houston Dash.
2019 NWSL Regular Season
Portland Thorns FC (1-0-2, 5pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (0-2-1, 1pt)
April 28, 2019 – Yurcak Field (Piscataway, N.J.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 2 0 2
Sky Blue FC 2 0 2
NJ: Lloyd (Rodriguez), 6
NJ: Lloyd, 18
POR: Sonnett (Sinclair), 32
POR: Heath, 34
NJ: James (caution), 60
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter, D Sonnett, D Reynolds, D Klingenberg, M Boureille, M Brynjarsdottir (Seiler, 78), M Sinclair ©, F Crnogorcevic (Purce, 68), F Foord, F Heath
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, D Ball, F Lussi, F Weber
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Heath, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Sonnett, 2); FOULS: 9 (Heath, 3), OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3
NJ: GK Sheridan, D Dydasco, D Skroski, D Johnson, D Monaghan, M Kawasumi (McCaskill, 81), M James, M Killion ©, M Dorsey, F Rodriguez, F Lloyd
Substitutes Not Used: GK Haracic, D Hoy, M Wright, M Gabi, F Meehan
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Lloyd, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Lloyd, 3); FOULS: 12 (Four players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Assistant Referees: Ian McKay, Katarzyna Wasiak
4th Official: Luis Arroyo
Weather: Cloudy 51 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial