The Portland Thorns would not be stopped in Providence Park, winning 5-0 over Gotham FC this Saturday night. Portland is now 4-1-2 at home this season, and their recent wins have been dominant. In their last three home games, the Thorns have outscored their opposition 14-0. In their last eight regular season games, the Thorns have at least earned one point. Of those eight games, Portland has also won half of them.
With international play under way, there were some questions as to how these teams would perform without some of their star players. For Portland, any doubt to the depth of their roster was quickly silenced this game. Just four minutes into the match, on the very first corner kick, Meghan Klingenberg would find Taylor Porter inside the box. Porter would hit a bounce shot that would catch goaltender Ashlyn Harris shifting too far right to left, and score the first goal of the game.
Then at 6:58, the Thorns would strike again. Olivia Moultrie would get on the board thanks to a pass from Yazmeen Ryan. Moultrie would corral the pass right at the top of the penalty arch, then turn, and fire a shot to the top right corner to put Portland up 2-0.
Portland still wasn’t done with their early flurry. At 10:18 Morgan Weaver would make a move to find space on the outskirts of the box. She then centered a low pass that Hina Sugita would leave for teammate Marissa Everett. Everett would have a tap in goal to extend the Thorns lead to three.
Gotham FC they knew they needed to find a way to respond. One of their best chances from the first half came at 33:30. A laser of a shot from just outside the box forced a diving save from goaltender Bella Bixby. By halftime, Gotham FC only had three total shots. However, Gotham was winning the time of possession category with 55%.
Unfortunately for Gotham FC, Portland would not let their foot off the gas in the second half. Through the first 10 minutes of the second half, Gotham had two offensive possessions that were quickly shut down. On the other side, Portland’s offense was still finding space and making the most of it. At 64:35, Hannah Betfort, who had subbed into the game only one minute before, would cash in on a header that lined the ball just inside the far post.
The finally tally of the game came off the foot of Morgan Weaver at 79:18. Ashlyn Harris was under pressure from Hanna Betfort, and rolled a pass just out of reach of her teammate Mandy Freeman. Weaver jumped on the play and shot the ball into the empty net to give Portland the 5-0 victory.
Head Coach Rhian Wilkinson said after the game, “We wanted to put a stamp on this game and on this three game series without some of our internationals. And my goodness, they did that. They were fantastic today.”
The Thorns have a long break before their next match. They’re next opponent will be the Racing Louisville FC on July 29th.
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