Match Recap

Thorns triumphant in Cascadia battle, shutout OL Reign in Seattle

Portland's 2-0 victory ends winless streak against OL Reign dating back to September of 2018.

Goals from Sophia Smith and Christine Sinclair powered Portland Thorns FC to a shutout 2-0 victory over the OL Reign Saturday evening at Lumen Field in Seattle, Wash.

In a first half with looks for both sides, it was in the 17th minute that Portland would take the lead. After receiving a ball from Hina Sugita in the middle of OL's half, Smith pushed towards the box, dribbled past a defender before she unleashed a left-footed hit into the lower left corner for the net, unreachable and good for a 1-0 lead.

With her goal, Smith brought her season total to five goals and brought an eight-week scoring drought to an end. With the four assists she collected during that span, she now leads the league in goal-scoring involvements through 10 matches with 10 (5g, 5a). She is also tied for first in the Golden Boot race, and remains in the top assists spot.

The Thorns came close to doubling their lead just 10 minutes later when Portland midfielder Olivia Moultrie twice put Reign goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce on edge. First with a corner-kick rebound she sent just wide right of the goal, and then forcing the 'keeper to a make diving save two minutes later.

As the half came to a close, Portland kept the ball under control and took the 1-0 lead to the locker room.

Thorns celebrate Sophia Smith's opening goal at OL Reign. June 3, 2023.

Hina Sugita nearly tallied just as the second half commenced, in the 49th minute. Forward Morgan Weaver sent a cross from the left across the six-yard box and face of goal, however the Japanese international's stretching attempt to get on the end of it was just too short, with the ball ricocheting off her foot and out of bounds.

With the match progressing and OL Reign searching for an equalizer, the Portland defense held strong. Goalkeeper Bella Bixby and defender Kelli Hubly supervised the back line, seeking a clean sheet. With just under five minutes in regulation, it seemed the Thorns would fight to secure the 1-goal lead on the road against their rivals.

Christine Sinclair had other thoughts. In the 86th minute, she put Portland's exclamation point on the scoresheet. A run to the endline by Weaver pulled the defense towards the ball, opening up an oncoming Sinclair near the top of the box. Weaver's cutback pass towards the Canadian veteran was perfect and she made no mistake, burying it past Tullis-Joyce. Up 2-0, it was Sinclair's second goal of the season and Weaver's first assist of the campaign.

As the referee blew for the final whistle, Portland secured their first victory over their Pacific Northwest rivals since September 8, 2018.

With all three points in the bag heading out of Lumen Field, Portland returns to the top of the NWSL standings with 19 points. A cross-country trip to Florida is next on the calendar as the Thorns visit the Orlando Pride next Sunday, June 11 at Exploria Stadium (4pm PT, CBS Sports Network).

Portland Thorns FC (5-1-4, 19pts) vs. OL Reign (5-4-1, 16pts)
June 3, 2023 – Lumen Field (Seattle, Wash.)

Scoring Summary:
POR: Smith (Sugita), 17
POR: Sinclair (Weaver), 87

Misconduct Summary:
OLR: Hiatt (caution), 21
OLR: Cook (caution), 89

POR: GK Bixby ©, D Kuikka (Reyes, 71), D Hubly, D Menges (Sauerbrunn, 66), D Klingenberg, M Coffey, M Moultrie (Sinclair, 66), M Dunn, F Sugita (Vasconcelos, 89), F Smith, F Weaver

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, D Nally, M Porter, F D’Aquila, F Leon

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Smith, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 6 (Smith, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4

OLR: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Huerta, D Cook, D Hiatt, D Barnes ©, M Sonnett, M Quinn (Van der Jagt, 57), M Balcer (Stanton, 78), F Latsko (Huitema, 57), F Bennett (King, 79), F Rapinoe

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivory, D Holmes, D Brown, M Canales, M Athens

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Rapinoe, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 13 (Bennett, Rapinoe, 2); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3

Referee: Brad Jensen
Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Alicia Messer
Fourth Official: Patricia McCracken
VAR: Robi Hullner
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees
Attendance: N/A

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial