The Portland Thorns kick off their September the right way, with a 2-0 victory against the Orlando Pride. The win this Friday breaks a two-game losing streak that the Thorns had after participating in the Women’s International Champions Cup. The Thorns are now 2-0 against the Pride this season. They’ve also outscored the Pride by a total of 8-0 in their two matches.
This match at Exploria Stadium saw the Portland Thorns having a strong showing in the first half. The Thorns lead in every offensive category through the first 45 minutes. Time of possession certainly helped, as Portland possessed the ball for 55.8% of the first half. At halftime, the Thorns had ten shots, three corners, eight crosses and were even leading in passing accuracy with 87.1%.
Orlando goaltender Anna Moorhouse had to be on her toes throughout the game. Of the ten shots, Moorhouse faced in the first half, five of them were on goal. Moorhouse held the line as best she could. However, In the 31st minute, Yazmeen Ryan would score from in tight thanks to a cross from Morgan Weaver. The Orlando Pride looked to respond but struggled to register a shot until the 36th minute. The Thorns would hold their lead at halftime 1-0.
For Portland, the second half started as strong as the first. The Thorns kept their momentum rolling as they added on two more shots and two more corners in the next five minutes. The Pride found their window to take back some momentum after Natalia Kuikka was called for a yellow card in the 54th minute.
The game was a stalemate for the next few minutes with teams trading free kicks and fouls, until the 65th minute. Olivia Moultrie would pass to Hina Sugita, whose lefty shot would find the back of the net. Portland would extend their lead to 2-0, and the defense would take care of the rest of the game. Orlando would end the game with ten total shots. However, only one found its way on net. Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby would shut down the Pride’s offense, and the Thorns would win their eighth game this season.
With only four more games remaining in the regular season, every point the Thorns earn could shift the overall standings heading into the postseason. With the win tonight, the Thorns would tie the San Diego Wave FC for first place in the league with a total of 31 points.
The Thorns next match is Sunday, September 18th against the Kansas City Current.