Thorns FC

CHALLENGE CUP RECAP | Thorns FC thump Angel City FC in 3-0 win

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Sophia Smith, Yazmeen Ryan and Morgan Weaver all scored and Portland Thorns FC blasted past Angel City FC 3-0 Wednesday night at Providence Park in NWSL Challenge Cup play.

Goalkeeper Bella Bixby made two saves to earn the clean sheet as Portland claimed their second straight shutout. The victory also puts the Thorns atop the West Division in tournament play.

Match Moments

30' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Yazmeen Ryan sliced down the right side to the endline and cut a ball back to Rocky Rodríguez atop the six-yard box who nailed a shot on goal only for Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haracic to make a point-blank save.

31' - GOAL (POR) - A minute later, Portland took the lead as defender Natalie Beckman sprung striker Sophia Smith on an angled run in from the left side. Smith spun an Angel City defender then fired the ball into the lower right corner for a 1-0 lead.

49' - CHANCE (POR) - Smith helped lead a break forward before sending a throughball upfield to Morgan Weaver who laced her shot just over the Angel City goal.

53' - GOAL (POR) - Portland took a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Natalia Kuikka hit a hard shot on goal that Haracic saved but spilled the rebound. Ryan pounced on the loose ball to quickly shoot it into the back of the net.

68' - SAVE (POR) - Angel City's Christen Press went on a 60-yard run down the left flank before cutting in on goal to shoot a hard-angled shot but Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby tracked her all the way and made a nice save.

77' - CHANCE (POR) - A chipped ball over the top freed forward Marissa Everett into the area. Her one-timed, side-footed shot went inches wide of the far post.

78' - GOAL (POR) - Weaver scored her first goal of the tournament as she rocketed a shot from 25 yards away into the Angel City net for a 3-0 Thorns lead. Defender Madison Pogarch earned the assist after stepping forward to pick off a pass before adeptly squaring it to Weaver to carry in and shoot.


The Thorns continue play in the NWSL Challenge Cup Saturday, April 2, when they host Northwest rival OL Reign at Providence Park (7pm PT, TICKETS, Paramount+).

Portland Thorns FC (2-0-1, 7pts) vs. Angel City FC (0-2-1, 1pt)
(NWSL Challenge Cup)

March 30, 2022 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Scoring Summary:
POR: S. Smith (Beckman), 31
POR: Ryan, 53
POR: Weaver (Pogarch), 78

Misconduct Summary:

POR: GK Bixby, D Hubly (Provenzano, 84), D Menges ©, D Nally, M Kuikka (Pogarch, 72), M Porter, M Beckman, M Rodríguez (Sugita, 46), M Ryan, F S. Smith (Everett, 67), F Weaver (Betfort, 85)

Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, M Moultrie, M Coffey, F Sinclair

SD: GK Haracic, D Riley©, D Gilles, D Swaby, D Hammond, M Roccaro, M Weatherholt (Ferrer, 80), M Endo, F Press (Breslin, 80), F Spencer (Nabet, 62), F Lussi (Taylor, 80)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Isenhour, GK Perez, M Reid

Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referees: Melissa Beck, Christian Clerc
4th Official: Patricia McCracken
Attendance: 9,902
Weather: Cloudy, 55 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.


  • Sophia Smith scored for a second straight match. It was her second goal of the Challenge Cup. She has two goals in six career Challenge Cup matches.
  • Smith recorded her 10th career goal across all competitions with Portland.
  • Smith is the fifth different Thorns FC player to score at least two goals in the Challenge Cup for Portland.
  • Yazmeen Ryan scored her first professional goal in the match. She is the eighth different player to score in a Challenge Cup match for Portland.
  • Morgan Weaver appeared in her 14th 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.
  • Weaver notched her third career Challenge Cup goal. She has scored in every year (2020, 2021, 2022) of the tournament.
  • Weaver’s three goals are tied with Christine Sinclair for the most goals by a Portland player in the Challenge Cup.
  • Natalie Beckman earned her first professional start in the match.
  • Beckman tallied her first career assist in the match. 
  • Madison Pogarch made her 2022 Challenge Cup debut, recording her first career assist.
  • Beckman and Pogarch are the sixth and seventh players to record an assist for Thorns FC in a Challenge Cup game.
  • Taylor Porter earned her first start in an NWSL competition, making her second appearance in the Challenge Cup.
  • Rocky Rodríguez made her first appearance of the 2022 Challenge Cup, starting and playing 45 minutes. 
  • Hina Sugita made her Providence Park debt in the match, logging 45 minutes as a substitute.
  • Gabby Provenzano made her professional debut, entering the match as a second-half substitute.
  • Hannah Betfort made her Challenge Cup debut in the match.
  • Bella Bixby earned her first shutout of 2022 and her first Challenge Cup win.
  • Bixby has recorded 13 shutouts in 24 matches across all competitions with Thorns FC.