Emily Menges, Thorns FC at Sky Blue FC, 05.25.19
Howard Smith / ISI Photos

NWSL MATCH RECAP | Sky Blue FC 0, Portland Thorns FC 1

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Concluding a stretch of six consecutive road games to begin the 2019 season, Portland Thorns FC earned a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field on Saturday night. Midge Purce tallied the lone goal of the game for Portland – her first goal with the club – helping Thorns FC secure the win. Portland returns home to play host to the Chicago Red Stars in their 2019 home opener on Sunday, June 2, at Providence Park.

Recent form
Portland concluded its six-game road swing to begin the season, posting a record of 3-1-2 during that stretch. In their first six games, Thorns FC tallied 13 goals, which is tied for the most in the NWSL. Portland recorded its second clean sheet of the campaign, conceding just one shot on goal and finishing the match with a 17-7 edge in shots and a 7-1 advantage in shots on goal. Notably, Purce became the eighth different player to score a goal for Portland this season.

Firsts
Four players earned their first starts of the 2019 season in the match: Elizabeth Ball, Simone Charley, Angela Salem and Tyler Lussi. Additionally, Ball, Charley, Madison Pogarch and Marissa Everett all made their 2019 season debuts. For Charley, Everett and Pogarch, Saturday marked their professional debuts. Additionally, Purce tallied her first career goal for Thorns FC.

Against Sky Blue FC
With the win, Thorns FC improved to 8-6-4 all-time against Sky Blue FC. Portland is unbeaten in its last five matches (3-0-2) against Sky Blue FC and has earned at least one point in eight of its last nine matches (6-1-2) against Sky Blue FC. Additionally, Portland is now unbeaten in its last five trips (4-0-1) to Yurcak Field.

Key plays
Thorns FC generated a scoring chance off a corner kick early in the first half. Meghan Klingenberg delivered a ball to the center of the box near the edge of the six-yard box. The ball took a deflection and Katherine Reynolds ran into the box, firing a low, hard shot on target that was deflected just wide of the right post in the 27th minute.

Portland nearly grabbed the lead in the 58th minute. Gabby Seiler collected the ball just outside Sky Blue FC’s box and Ball made an overlapping run, receiving a pass from Seiler. Ball played a looping cross to the left post for Charley, who connected with a header that bounced off the post.

Searching for a goal, Charley won the ball just outside the box and fired a shot from long range. The shot deflected off a Sky Blue FC player and landed for Purce, who found space inside the box and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal for her first career goal with Thorns FC in the 69th minute.

Portland came close to doubling its lead in the 80th minute. Pogarch dribbled down the left side of the field and played a cross to the near post. Marissa Everett ran to the left post and put a sliding shot on frame, forcing Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Didi Haracic to make a diving stop to push the ball just wide of the right post.

On the counter-attack in the 89th minute, Purce got behind the Sky Blue FC defense, dribbled into the box and found herself one-on-one with Haracic, but the Sky Blue FC goalkeeper came off her line quickly to make a point-blank save on Purce’s attempt.

Next match
Thorns FC return to the Rose City to play host to the Chicago Red Stars in their 2019 home opener on Sunday, June 2, at Providence Park; kickoff is 3 p.m. (Pacific). Click here to purchase tickets.

Notes:

  • Portland concluded its stretch of six straight road games, posting a record of 3-1-2.
  • Thorns FC have scored 13 goals this season, which is tied for the most in the NWSL.
  • Ball and Charley made their 2019 season debut in the match.
  • Charley, Everett and Pogarch all made their professional debuts.
  • Purce tallied her first goal for Thorns FC and the second of her NWSL career.
  • Purce is the eighth different player to score a goal for Portland in 2019.
  • With the win, Thorns FC improved 8-6-4 all-time against Sky Blue FC.
  • Portland is unbeaten in its last five matches against Sky Blue FC (3-0-2) and has earned at least one point (6-1-2) in eight of its last nine matches.
  • Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five matches (4-0-1) on the road against Sky Blue FC.

Portland Thorns FC (3-1-2, 11pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (0-5-2, 2pts)
May 25, 2019 – Yurcak Field (Piscataway, N.J.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC       0          1          1
Sky Blue FC                  0          0          0

Scoring Summary:
POR: Purce, 69

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Brynjarsdottir, 87

Lineups:
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Ball, D Reynolds, D Menges ©, D Klingenberg, M Salem (Pogarch, 75), M Seiler, M Brynjarsdottir, F Lussi (Purce, 59), F Charley (Everett, 79), F Crnogorcevic

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bixby, D Hubly, M Boureille, M Ogle

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Charley, Purce, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Charley, Purce, 2); FOULS: 9 (Brynjarsdottir, 3), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 1

SKY: GK Haracic, D Lewandowski, D Skroski, D Richardson (Wright, 90+2), D Monaghan, M Kawasumi (Gabi, 78), M Rodriguez, M Killion ©, F Pierre-Louis (Hoy, 46), F McCaskill, F Dorsey

Substitutes Not Used: GK Marckese, M Flores, F Meehan

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (McCaskill, Lewandowski, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Lewandowski, 1); FOULS: 12 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 12; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 6

Referee: Jasmine Peralta
Assistant Referees: Katarzyna Wasiak, Kristin Sundberg
4th Official: Bardhyl Pashaj
Attendance: 1,472
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 72 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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