Thorns FC

Thorns FC earn 2-1 comeback win against North Carolina Courage

Hannah Betfort, Sophia Smith tally goals as Portland moves back to the top of NWSL standings. Portland next travels cross-country for their next match on Sunday, Aug. 27 at the Washington Spirit. Kickoff from Audi Field is 2pm PT (Live on Paramount+).

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing down a player for almost 80 minutes, Portland Thorns FC scored a pair of unanswered goals to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind win against the North Carolina Courage in front of 22,107 fans at Providence Park on Sunday night. Hannah Betfort tallied her second goal of the regular season, while Sophia Smith scored her league-leading 11th goal of 2023. With the win, Portland (8-4-4, 28pts) moves back to first place in the NWSL standings with six matches remaining in the regular season.

Betfort Balling
Betfort scored her second goal of the regular season and her fourth goal across all competitions in 2023. Betfort has scored in each of the team’s last two regular season matches. At home, Betfort has three goals and one assist in her last two matches across all competitions at Providence Park.

Smile… She’s Back
Smith scored her NWSL-leading 11th goal of the season less than one minute after subbing into the match in her first game back since the World Cup. Smith has scored in 5 straight regular season matches for the second time in her career (2022, 2023), becoming the second player in NWSL history with multiple streaks of five or more games with a goal (Sam Kerr). Notably, Smith has four goals in her last two home games for Thorns FC.

Table Setters
Olivia Moultrie and Morgan Weaver both tallied assists in the match for Portland. For Moultrie it was her third assist of the campaign, while Weaver notched her fourth assist of the season. Moultrie is the sixth player to register three or more assists for Portland this season. For Weaver, it marks a career-best for assists in a single season.

Goal-Scoring Plays
NCC – Tyler Lussi, 19th minute: After Kelli Hubly was sent off for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity, Tyler Lussi lined up a direct free kick. Lussi fired her strike from the right side at the edge of the box off the crossbar and into the goal.

POR – Hannah Betfort (Olivia Moultrie), 41st minute: Building down the right side, Natalia Kuikka played a ball in over the top for Olivia Moultrie making a run to the edge of the North Carolina box. Moultrie delivered a lobbed one-touch pass to Hannah Betfort running into the box. Betfort backheeled the pass to herself and unleashed an outside of the foot strike into the left side of the net.

POR – Sophia Smith (Morgan Weaver), 69th minute: Sophia Smith won the ball in midfield and surged forward to the top of the box. Smith played the ball to Weaver making a run down the left side of the box and Weaver slotted it back to Smith for the finish at the right post.


  • Tonight’s crowd of 22,107 was the fourth-largest crowd for a home match in club history.
  • Thorns FC became the first team in NWSL history to win a game after a first-half red card.
  • Portland has scored 19 first-half goals this season – the most of any team in the NWSL.
  • Thorns FC have scored five goals in the last 15 minutes of the first half, only North Carolina Courage (6) have scored more goals during that span in games.
  • Portland earned its first win after conceding the opening goal since the 2022 NWSL semifinal match against San Diego Wave FC on Oct. 23, 2022.
  • Thorns FC recorded their fifth home win of 2023. Portland has scored multiple goals in all of those wins.
  • Portland has outscored its opponents 20-8 at Providence Park this season.
  • Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last three home matches (1-0-2) against North Carolina.
  • Hannah Betfort has scored in each of her last two regular season matches for Thorns FC.
  • Betfort has three goals in her last two home games for Portland across all competitions.
  • Sophia Smith scored less than one minute after entering the match as a second-half substitute.
  • Smith’s goal was her 11th of the 2023 campaign.
  • Smith has four goals in her last two home games for Portland.
  • Smith has scored at least one goal in each the last five regular season games in which she has appeared for Portland.
  • Smith has scored in 5 straight regular season matches for the second time in her career (2022, 2023), becoming the second player in NWSL history with multiple streaks of five or more games with a goal (Sam Kerr).
  • Smith has seven goals in her last five NWSL regular season matches.
  • Olivia Moultrie tallied her third assist of the season.
  • Moultrie is now one of six players with at least three assists for Portland in 2023.
  • Moultrie recorded her eighth career assist in the match. She is now tied for 10th most all-time in club history.
  • Morgan Weaver registered her fourth assist of the season and the 10th of her NWSL career.
  • Weaver is the fifth player in club history to register 10-plus goals and 10-plus assists in her career, joining Tobin Heath, Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and Allie Long.
  • Meghan Klingenberg made her 150th NWSL regular season appearance in the match.
  • Klingenberg is the 24th player to reach this milestone.
  • Emily Menges earned her 150th career start.
  • Menges is the fourth player in league history to make 150 starts all with the same club. She is the second player to accomplish this for Portland along with Sinclair.
  • Rocky Rodríguez made her first start and appearance for Thorns FC since May 12, against Houston. It marked her first game back with the club since returning from the World Cup.
  • Christine Sinclair returned to the starting lineup, making her first appearance after the World Cup.


Portland Thorns FC (8-4-4, 28pts) vs. North Carolina Courage (8-6-2, 26pts)
Aug. 20, 2023 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Scoring Summary:
NCC: Lussi, 19
POR: Betfort (Moultrie), 41
POR: Smith (Weaver), 69

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Hubly (ejection), 17

POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka (Reyes, 85), D Hubly, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Coffey, M Rodríguez (Porter, 68), M Moultrie, M Sinclair © (Nally, 22), F Betfort (Smith, 68), W Weaver (D’Aquila, 85)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, D Provenzano, D McGrady, F Vasconcelos

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Weaver, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Weaver, 2); FOULS: 8 (Coffey, Weaver, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 2

NCC: GK Murphy, D Williams, D Kurtz, D Berkely, D Pickett, M Miura, M O’Sullivan © (Tagliaferri, 83), M Pickett (Pinto, 60), F Lussi (Hopkins, 70), F Boade (Wingate, 46), F Ratcliffe

Substitutes Not Used: GK Rowland, D Clark, D Johnson, D Collins, M Stackpole

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Lussi, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Lussi, 2); FOULS: 10 (Miura, Pickett, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3

Referee: Matt Thompson
Assistant Referees: Seth Martin, Baboucarr Jallow
Fourth Official: Justin St. Pierre
VAR: Luis Guardia
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees
Attendance: 22,107

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

Next Game
Thorns FC head out for back-to-back road games, squaring off against the Washington Spirit on Sunday, Aug. 27, at Audi Field; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific) live on Paramount+.