Ahead of Thorns FC's 2021 NWSL regular-season finale Saturday against the North Carolina Courage at Providence Park (7pm PT, TICKETS, Twitch), the team will be celebrating a number of occasions.
First off, the 2021 NWSL Shield – awarded to the team with the best record in the regular season – will be presented to the team in a pregame ceremony. Portland clinched the Shield, along with the no. 1 seed in the NWSL Playoffs and a home playoff semifinal match when they defeated the Houston Dash 1-0 on Oct. 17.
The team will also be taking the opportunity to recognize the retirements of former Thorns defender Katherine Reynolds and goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom. Both Reynolds and Eckerstrom announced their retirements following the pandemic-affected 2020 season. Saturday will be a chance for them to be honored and celebrated in front of the fans.
Reynolds appeared in 77 career matches with Portland, making 67 career starts across all competitions. She concluded her career with the Thorns having helped Portland win an NWSL Shield in 2016 and an NWSL Championship in 2017. She also scored her first career NWSL goal in her 100th NWSL game with Thorns FC on May 30, 2018, against the North Carolina Courage.
From 2013-19, Reynolds appeared in 129 regular-season matches (120 starts), logging 10,817 minutes with the Western New York Flash (2013-14), Washington Spirit (2015) and Thorns FC.
Following a standout collegiate career at Santa Clara, Reynolds began her professional career in Women’s Professional Soccer with the Philadelphia Independence in 2010 before signing with the Atlanta Beat for the 2011 season. She also played overseas in Germany and Australia.
Eckerstrom appeared in 26 matches (26 starts) across all competitions for Portland, recording seven shutouts. In 20 career regular-season matches with the club, Eckerstrom played 1,800 minutes, registering 71 saves and five shutouts.
During the 2020 campaign, Eckerstrom played in six of the Portland’s 10 matches – two matches in the NWSL Challenge Cup and all four matches during the Fall Series, including an 11-save shutout performance in the quarterfinal round of the Challenge Cup on July 17 against the North Carolina Courage. In six total games in 2020, Eckerstrom posted a 0.67 goals-against average, recording 32 saves and a pair of shutouts.
A national champion with Penn State, Eckerstrom also played professionally with the Western New York Flash and had two loan stints in the Australian W-League with the Newcastle Jets, leading the league in saves (61) for the 2018-19 W-League season.
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