PORTLAND, Ore. – Sophia Smith scored early while Hina Sugita tallied a brace – her first two goals in the NWSL – and Portland Thorns FC ran out as 3-2 winners over San Diego Wave FC Sunday afternoon at Providence Park in NWSL Challenge Cup play.

With the victory, Portland has 10 points in the West Division with one game left to play in the group stage. The winner from each of the three divisions advance to the knockout stage along with the highest-ranked group stage runner-up.

Match Moments

4' - GOAL (POR) - The Thorns took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Sophia Smith received a pass in the box from Morgan Weaver and snuck a left-footed shot into the far side of the net.

10' - CHANCE (POR) - Smith went hunting for a second six minutes later as she dribbled into the box through the right channel and fired a right-footed shot that forced an acrobatic save from San Diego goalkeeper Carly Telford.

21' - GOAL (POR) - Portland doubled their lead at 2-0 with a nice attack forward. Weaver, on the right sideline, ghosted past a Wave player and darted forward before squaring a ball to Christine Sinclair at the edge of the area. Sinclair shot a curling ball on goal that hit the crossbar but down towards the penalty area where midfielder Hina Sugita made a diving header to score her first career goal for the Thorns.

41' - GOAL (POR) - After a flurry of Portland shots were blocked by San Diego defenders, Sugita scored her second goal of the game as Sinclair chipped a ball across but it was not cleared out and the Japanese international deftly placed her shot inside the far post for a 3-0 Portland lead.

45+2' - SAVE (POR) - Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby made an amazing save just before the halftime whistle when she leapt back and stretched back across the goal to parry away a chipped shot from San Diego's Christen Westphal.

46' - GOAL (SD) - San Diego goal scored a goal just after halftime when Isabella Briede took a deflected pass and knocked the ball into the goal, making the score 3-1.

67' - GOAL (SD) - On a San Diego corner kick, midfielder Taylor Korniek headed the ball down and into the lower corner to cut Portland's lead to 3-2.

87' - SAVE (POR) - Bixby dove down and to her right to deny a shot from SD's Alex Morgan who had chested a ball down to turn and fire on goal.

Portland Thorns FC close out NWSL Challenge Cup group stage play next Sunday as they travel to play Angel City FC on April 24 (6pm PT, Paramount+).

Portland Thorns FC (3-1-1, 10pts) vs. San Diego Wave FC (1-1-3, 4pts) 
(NWSL Challenge Cup) 

April 17, 2022 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Scoring Summary: 
POR: S. Smith (Weaver), 4
POR: Sugita, 21
POR: Sugita, 41
SD: Briede (Morgan), 67
SD: Kornieck (Turnbow), 67

Misconduct Summary
SD: M McGrady (caution), 42
SD: M McNabb (caution), 84

Lineups:
POR: GK A. Smith, D Hubly, D Menges, D Nally (Pogarch, 45), M Klingenberg, M Sugita, M Coffey, M Rodríguez (Moultrie, 63), F S. Smith (Ryan, 63), F Weaver (Beckman, 90+3), F Sinclair ©

Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, GK Hogan, M Porter, M Ryan, F Betfort, F Everett

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (S. Smith, 9); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (S. Smith, 4); FOULS: 6 (Sinclair, 2); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4

SD: GK Telford, D McGrady, D Girma, D Dahlkemper © (Riehl, 46), D Westphal, M McNabb, M Van Egmond, F Morgan, F Briede (Kornieck, 67), F Jakobsson (Ali, 73), F Taylor (Turnbow, 46)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lowder, D Hansen, M Kornieck, M Pulver, F Ali, F Johnson, F Schimmer

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Morgan, 9); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Morgan, 2); FOULS: 9 (Dahlkemper, Turnbow, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6

Referee: Ricardo Fierro
Assistant Referees: Ricardo Ocampo, Salma Perez
4th Official: Luis Trujillo
Attendance: 12,440
Weather: Cloudy, 57 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

Notes:

  • Thorns FC are 3-1-1 (10 pts) in Challenge Cup play and in second place in the West Division.
  • Portland has won both its matches against expansion side San Diego Wave FC. 
  • Sophia Smith scored her third goal of the 2022 Challenge Cup. 
  • Smith has scored in consecutive matches against San Diego. 
  • Smith is one of seven players in NWSL to have scored three or more goals this tournament. 
  • In her last six appearances for club and country, Smith has a combined six goals. 
  • Hina Sugita scored her first and second career Thorns FC goals today. 
  • Sugita became Portland’s fifth player to score a goal in this year’s Challenge Cup, and ninth across all Challenge Cup matches.
  • Sugita is the fifth player in the league to score a brace in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup.
  • Hina Sugita is the 10th different NWSL player to score a brace in Challenge Cup history.
  • Across all competitions, Sugita is the 10th player to register a multi-goal game for Portland in club history.
  • Morgan Weaver tallied her first Challenge Cup assist, and fourth in all competitions for Portland.
  • Weaver appeared in her 16th Challenge Cup game. She has played in every Challenge Cup match in the tournament’s existence and is the only Thorns FC player to appear in every match.
  • Thorns FC conceded multiple goals for the first time in the 2022 tournament. Portland is tied for the fewest goals conceded (4) in the tournament this year with the Chicago Red Stars and OL Reign.