Onward to the playoffs
Portland Thorns FC concluded the 2022 NWSL regular season with a 3-3 draw on the road against NJ/NY Gotham FC to earn a top-two seed in the NWSL Playoffs and a home semifinal match on Oct. 23 at Providence Park. Sophia Smith scored a first-half brace, while Morgan Weaver added a goal and Hina Sugita tallied a pair of assists.
Portland = Playoffs
With the draw, Thorns FC have secured either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs. It marks the fifth time in the last six seasons Portland has finished in the top two. Thorns FC will win the NWSL Shield if OL Reign loses or draws against the Orlando Pride tonight.
Smith scored her fifth career NWSL brace, and her fourth of the 2022 NWSL season. Her four braces this season tied an NWSL record for braces in a season. With the two goals, she set a new Thorns FC single-season record with 14 goals. It broke the previous record of 13 goals set by midfielder Lindsey Horan during the 2018 season. Her 14 goals rank as the second-most in the league this season. Notably, Smith now has 21 career goals for Portland, making her the fourth player in club history to reach the 20-goal mark.
2022 Regular Season Review
Thorns FC finished the campaign with 49 goals, setting a new club record for goals in a single season. The team’s 49 goals rank as the third-most in a single season in NWSL history only behind the North Carolina Courage’s 54 goals in 2019 and 53 goals during the 2018 season. The team also had a league-best +25 goal differential to finish the campaign. Portland recorded double-digit wins for a sixth straight season, and the eighth time in nine NWSL regular seasons. As a team, 14 different players scored at least one goal, while 10 players finished with at least one assist.
NJNY – Naho Kawasumi, 39th minute: After the ball was crossed into the center of the box, Portland was unable to clear the ball and Naho Kawasumi converted from close range inside the left post.
POR – Sophia Smith (penalty kick), 44th minute: Hina Sugita was fouled inside the box and Sophia Smith stepped to the penalty spot and converted.
POR – Sophia Smith (Hina Sugita), 45+1: Sugita dribbled down the right wing and played a cross to the near post for Smith, who redirected the ball with a slight touch past Gotham FC goalkeeper Michelle Betos and over the goal line.
POR – Morgan Weaver (Hina Sugita), 53th minute: After receiving a pass from Rocky Rodríguez, Hina Sugita turned and laid the ball at left corner of the box for Morgan Weaver, who fired a shot from distance inside the right post.
NJNY – Ifeoma Onumonu (Midge Purce), 56th minute: Midge Purce dribbled down the left side of the box and delivered a cross to the back post for Ifeoma Onumonu, who finished from close range with a volleyed shot.
NJNY – McCall Zerboni (Kristie Mewis), 74th minute: Kristie Mewis served a corner kick into the center of the box and McCall Zerboni connected, sending a header just inside the left post.
- Thorns FC finished in the top 2 in the NWSL standings for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
- Portland’s 49 goals rank as the third-most in a single season in league history.
- Thorns FC scored multiple goals in 15 of their 22 regular season matches.
- Portland scored in all 12 of its road matches in 2022, including multiple goals in eight of those games.
- Thorns FC finished the regular season with just one loss on the road and led the league with 22 road goals.
- Sophia Smith scored her fifth career brace, and her fourth brace of the 2022 season.
- Smith’s four braces in 2022 tied the NWSL record for braces in a season, tying Naho Kawasumi (2014) and Sam Kerr (2019).
- Smith set a new Thorns FC single-season record with 14 goals, surpassing the previous record of 13 goals set by Lindsey Horan during the 2018 season.
- Smith finished the campaign ranked second in goals scored in the league.
- Smith increased her career total to 21 goals with Portland. She is the fourth player to reach this milestone, joining Christine Sinclair, Lindsey Horan and Allie Long as the only other three players in club history with 20 or more goals.
- Hina Sugita recorded her third and fourth assists of the season.
- Sugita registered the 12th multi-assist game in club history.
- Sugita became the fifth player to record at least three assists for Thorns FC this season along with Smith, Morgan Weaver, Yazmeen Ryan and Olivia Moultrie.
- Morgan Weaver scored her seventh goal of the season. She has three goals in her last two games for Thorns FC.
- In two games against Gotham FC this season, Weaver tallied two goals and an assist.
- Kelli Hubly finished the season as the only player to start and play every match, playing every single minute (1,980). The last player to play every minute of every match was Christine Sinclair in 2018.
Thorns FC will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs and will have a quarterfinal bye. Portland will play host to a semifinal match on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Providence Park. Opponent and time to be determined.
Portland Thorns FC (10-3-9, 39pts) vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC (4-17-1, 22pts)
Oct. 1, 2022 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
NJNY: Kawasumi, 39
POR: S. Smith (penalty kick), 44
POR: S. Smith (Sugita), 45+1
POR: Weaver (Sugita), 53
NJNY: Onumonu (Purce), 56
NJNY: Zerboni (Mewis), 74
NJNY: Freeman (caution), 90+1
POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Hubly, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg, M Porter (Dunn, 69), M Rodríguez, M Sinclair © (Ryan, 46), F Sugita, F Weaver (Beckie, 81), F S. Smith
Substitutes Not Used: GK A. Smith, D Nally, D McGrady, D Menges, M Moultrie, F Everett
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (S. Smith, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (S. Smith, 5); FOULS: 8 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 12; SAVES: 1
NJ/NY: GK Betos, D Krieger (Pickett, 65), D Freeman, D Johnson, M Smith, M Zerboni ©, M Mewis, M Kawasumi (Baxter, 89), M Dorsey (Brunihna, 65), F Purce, F Onumonu (Monaghan, 70)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hancuff, D Jean, M Torres, M Sheehan, M Bike
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Onumonu, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Krieger, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Adorae Monroy
Assistant Referees: Tom Felice, Jeremy Smith
Fourth Official: Marie Durr
Weather: Cloudy, 58 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial