NWSL RECAP | North Carolina Courage 2, Portland Thorns FC 0 | June 26, 2021

Starting XI Procession, Thorns at North Carolina, 06.26.21

CARY, N.C. - Forward Lynn Williams scored a second-half brace to lead the North Carolina Courage to a 2-0 victory over Portland Thorns FC at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday evening. The loss snapped the Thorns' three-game winning streak.

Williams' first goal of the night in the 57th minute was the first goal allowed by the Portland backline in a month. The Thorns had recored three consecutive shutouts prior to the trip to North Carolina, helping the club set a new record - as well as an individual record for goalkeeper Adrianna Franch - for consecutive shoutout minutes at 371 on Saturday. The last goal allowed by the Thorns was May 26, in Orlando.

The match in North Carolina marked the last club action for five Thorns players - Franch, Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Sinclair - before they depart for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with their respective national teams. 

Of note on Saturday, Thorns midfielder and first-round pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft Yazmeen Ryan made her professional debut, entering the match as a second-half sub. 

The Thorns are back on the road for their next match with a visit to NWSL expansion side Racing Louisville FC on Saturday, July 3; kickoff is 4:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+. 

Match Moments

3 - SAVE (NC) - Goalkeeper Casey Murphy saved a right footed shot from Thorns FC's Natalia Kuikka from outside the box.

21 - SAVE (POR) - Franch stops a scuffed shot by NC's Jessica McDonald from inside the box. The Courage had a quick counter through Debihna to forward Lynn Williams to set up McDonald for the chance. 

26 - SHOT (POR) - Morgan Weaver has a right-footed shot from outside the box saved by Murphy in the bottom left corner of the goal.

51- CHANCE (POR) - Weaver was played into the penalty area and was able to get around Murphy, but her angle didn't allow for a shot. Weaver played the ball to Christine Sinclair on the back post, but Sinclair's bouncing shot was scooped up by Murphy.

57 - GOAL (NC) - Williams scored her first of two goals on the night.

66 - GOAL (NC) - Williams scored her second goal of the night, finding the back of the net for the second time in less than 10 minutes. 

Portland Thorns FC (4-3-0, 12pts) vs. North Carolina Courage (4-2-1, 13pts) 
June 26, 2021 – Sahlen’s Stadium (Cary, N.C.)

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

Scoring Summary: 
NC: L. Williams, 57
NC: L. Williams (Pickett), 66

Misconduct Summary: 
POR: Ryan (caution), 78

POR: GK Franch, D Kuikka, D Menges, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (Pogarch, 61), M Rodríguez, M Salem (Boureille, 79), M Dunn, F Weaver (Ryan, 70), F Sinclair©, F Charley (Everett, 79)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bixby, GK Hogan, D Hubly, D Nally 

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Dunn, Charley, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Kuikka, 2); FOULS: 6 (Ryan, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4

NC: GK Murphy, D Mathias (R. Williams, 88), D Kurtz, D Erceg, D Pickett, M Solaun, M O’Sullivan (James, 79), M Mewis (Hamilton, 70), M Debinha (Speck, 88), F L. Williams, F McDonald (Mace, 79)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Rowland, D Caldwell, M Roccaro, F Ratcliffe

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (L. Williams, McDonald, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (L. Williams, 4); FOULS: 4 (four players tied, 1); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

Referee: Natalie Simon
Assistant Referees: Meghan Mullen, Ashlee Varnson
4th Official: Emma Richards
Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.


  • Portland established a new all-time shutout streak in tonight’s match of 371 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal, spanning May 26-June 26, 2021. It broke the old record of 314 minutes set during the 2017 season.
  • Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was in net for both shutout streaks.
  • Yazmeen Ryan made her professional debut in the match, logging 20 minutes as a substitute. She is the first player from TCU to feature in a game for Thorns FC.
  • Crystal Dunn, Adrianna Franch, Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Sinclair appeared in their final game with Portland before departing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • Tonight marked the first time Portland has not scored in a match since July 22, 2020, against the Houston Dash in the Challenge Cup. Thorns FC had scored in 15 consecutive matches across all competitions before tonight’s match.

More on the Thorns night in North Carolina