Rookie Reyna Reyes' goal ends game in 1-1 draw.
A 90th minute equalizer from defender Reyna Reyes – her first goal as a professional – lifted Portland Thorns FC to a 1-1 draw on the road against San Diego Wave FC at Snapdragon Stadium Friday evening.
The Thorns looked dangerous early in the fifth minute, courtesy of Sophia Smith. Taking a rebounded pass from outside the box, her shot smacked Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan's crossbar before going out-of-bounds. The reigning MVP continued to work as she recorded 28 touches and three shots through her first 45 minutes, leading the Portland attack in San Diego.
Becoming dominant on the ball, the Thorns took control of possession heading into the 20th minute-mark, and controlled as much as 63% of possession in the first half. In the 24th minute, Sheridan's reflexes were tested. A Sam Coffey pinpoint free kick cross from the left found Hina Sugita at the far post. The Japanese international put her shot on frame but was saved at point-blank by Sheridan.
Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby and the backline remained solid in the first half. Bixby herself recorded three saves, stopping wave after wave of San Diego approaches. In the final five minutes of the half, Portland twice came close to an opener. First in the 40th minute, with defender Kelli Hubly sending a rebound in the box just over Sheridan's crossbar. A couple minutes later, Smith did the same, her shot coming from just outside the box.
By the halftime whistle, Portland had outshot San Diego 12 to four, and out-possessed San Diego 57% to 43%. The score however remained 0-0.
With all to play for in the second-half, both clubs returned to the field with the same starting eleven.
Smith put Sheridan on alert two minutes in. She controlled a ball and drove down the left before cutting back into the box, dropping a defender in the process, and firing a right-footed screamer just wide-right.
As the tempo of the game dropped, the Thorns received a burst of energy from midfielder Olivia Moultrie who was subbed on in the 66th minute. Six minutes after coming on, she had already recorded two shots, with her second forcing Sheridan to a diving save.
Solid all night, Bixby came up big in the 74th minute, denying San Diego's Alex Morgan with a diving save to force a corner. But Bixby and the Portland backline would get caught off guard in a San Diego counter in the 86th minute. Sofia Jakobsson opened the scoring following a Bixby deflection that landed in her path. With four minutes left in regulation, Portland sat on a potential second road loss of the season, and second in San Diego across all competitions in 2023.
Just after added time had been announced, the Thorns rookie left back stepped up. Competing in her first full 90 match as a pro, Reyes delivered a clutch, 90th minute header off a Coffey corner to give Portland the equalizer. Reyes, the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, recorded her first professional goal while Coffey tallied her fourth assist of the season en route to the team securing a point on the road. Reyna became the 12th different scorer for Portland this season.
"It was a great ball in and I just saw it and I said, 'I got it, I got it," Reyes said after the match with a big smile. "I couldn't believe it. I'm so happy."
Portland Thorns FC (4-1-4, 16pts) at San Diego Wave FC (5-3-1, 16pts)
May 26, 2023 – Snapdragon Stadium (San Diego, Calif.)
SD: Jakobsson, 86
POR: Reyes (Coffey), 90
POR: Smith (caution), 20
SD: Korneick (caution), 77
POR: McNabb (caution), 84
POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Hubly, D Menges, D Reyes, M Coffey, M Dunn (D’Aquila, 89), M Sinclair (Moultrie, 66), F Sugita (Vasconcelos, 77), F Smith, F Weaver
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, D McGrady, D Nally, M Porter, F Betfort, F Leon
TOTAL SHOTS: 28 (Smith, Weaver, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Moultrie, 2); FOULS: 4 (Smith, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 4
SD: GK Sheridan, D Westphal, D Riehl, D Girma, D McNabb, M Enge, M Hill (Shaw, 74), Colaprico (Pogarch, 74), F Doniak (Korneick, 54), F Morgan ©, F Jakobsson
Substitutes Not Used: GK Yanez, D Gyau, M Briede, M Demarco, F Barcenas, F Ali
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Jakobsson, Morgan, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jakobsson, 3); FOULS: 9 (Korneick, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 7
Referee: Elton Garcia
Assistant Referees: Salma Perez, Tiffin Turpin
Fourth Official: Osvaldo Delgado Landeros
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees