Sophia Smith, Sam Coffey, and Olivia Moultrie tallied goals as the Thorns earned a sixth straight playoff spot.
After a scoreless first half, Portland Thorns FC put on a dominating 3-0 second-half performance against Racing Louisville FC at Providence Park to secure the first NWSL playoff berth of the 2022 season on Wednesday night. Sophia Smith, Sam Coffey and Olivia Moultrie each scored a goal within a nine-minute span to secure three points and a shutout victory.
Thorns FC will face a quick turnaround to host the Chicago Red Stars at Providence Park on Sun., Sept 25.
Portland in the Playoffs
Portland became the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs with tonight’s win. Thorns FC have qualified for the playoffs in six consecutive regular seasons. It also marks the eighth time Portland has qualified for the playoffs in nine NWSL regular seasons – the most of any team in the league. The playoff berth also marks the first of head coach Rhian Wilkinson’s coaching career.
Goal Scorer’s Spotlight
Three different players registered goals for Thorns FC tonight, marking their 13th match this season with multiple goals scored. Sophia Smith tallied her 12th goal of the season, the second most in the league behind Alex Morgan (15). Smith and Morgan are tied for the most non-penalty goals scored in the 2022 campaign with 10 each. Sam Coffey registered her first professional career goal and became Portland’s 14th different goal scorer this season. Olivia Moultrie scored the final goal of the match and her third of the season. Thorns FC also earned their eighth clean sheet of the 2022 campaign, and sixth shutout win by multiple goals.
POR – Sophia Smith, 47th minute: Kelli Hubly drove a long ball from Portland’s defensive half toward the top of the 18-yard box and into the path of Sophia Smith, who dribbled past Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund and slotted a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
POR – Sam Coffey (Natalia Kuikka), 48th minute: Natalia Kuikka slipped a ball through traffic to find Sam Coffey in the right side of the box. Surrounded by four defenders, Coffey freed herself from pressure and lined up a left-footed shot that curled just inside of the far post.
POR – Olivia Moultrie, 56th minute: Meghan Klingenberg chipped a ball into Rocky Rodríguez near the top of the box, who headed it further into the box for Olivia Moultrie to bring down and finish the ball into the lower left-hand corner.
- Thorns FC (9-3-8, 35 pts) became the first team to clinch a playoff berth in 2022 and moved into first place of the NWSL standings.
- Portland has made it to the playoffs in six straight seasons and for an eighth overall.
- Eight playoff appearances are the most by any team in the league’s history.
- The playoff berth also marks the first of head coach Rhian Wilkinson’s coaching career.
- Thorns FC set a new single-season club record with 43 goals, beating their previous best of 40 goals set in 2019 and 2018.
- Portland and the North Carolina Courage are tied for the most goals in the league (43).
- Thorns FC improved their goal differential to +22 which is nine more than the next best goal differential in the NWSL (North Carolina – 13).
- Portland posted its eighth clean sheet of the season. Bella Bixby has been in goal for all eight shutouts.
- Thorns FC are tied with San Diego Wave FC for the most clean sheets this season (8).
- Tonight’s result also marked Portland’s sixth shutout win by multiple goals in the 2022 campaign.
- Thorns FC have scored multiple goals in 13 matches this year.
- Sophia Smith scored her 12th goal of the season.
- Smith has the second most goals in the league (Alex Morgan – 15).
- Smith is tied with Morgan for most non-penalty goals scored this year (10).
- Sam Coffey registered her first professional career goal.
- Coffey became Portland’s 14th different goal scorer this season. Fourteen different goal scorers in a single season is a new club record.
- Thorns FC are tied with the Courage for most goal scorers on a single team this season (14).
- Olivia Moultrie tallied her third goal of the 2022 campaign.
- Crystal Dunn made her Providence Park debut of the season as a second-half substitute.
- Kelli Hubly is the only player to appear in every match this season for Thorns FC and has played every minute.
Portland Thorns FC (9-3-8, 35pts) vs. Racing Louisville (3-9-8, 17pts)
Sept. 21, 2022 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
POR: S. Smith, 47
POR: Coffey (Ryan), 48
POR: Moultrie, 56
POR: Moultrie (caution), 33
LOU: DeMelo (caution), 61
POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Hubly, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (McGrady, 72), M Coffey (Dunn¸78), M Rodriguez, M Moultrie (Sinclair, 57), F Ryan (Weaver, 57), F Beckie, F S. Smith (Everett¸72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, D Nally, M Porter, M Sugita
TOTAL SHOTS: 28 (Smith, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 14 (Smith, 4); FOULS: 12 (Moultrie, Smith, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1
LOU: GK Lund, D Fox, D Murray, D Bonner, D Milliet, M Howell (Malham, 82), M Chidiac, M DeMelo (Holloway, 82), F Ekic (Lester, 51), F Nadim (Davis, 26), F McDonald
Substitutes Not Used: GK Beall, GK Bloomer, GK Daugherty, D Martin, F Goins
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Milliet, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (McDonald, 1); FOULS: 13 (DeMelo, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 1
Referee: JC Griggs
Assistant Referees: Melissa Gonzalez, Chris Canales
Fourth Official: Justin St. Pierre
Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial