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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 4, Washington Spirit 2
Mark Parsons returns to Providence Park for the first time since 2021, and the Thorns win to go top of the table!
The Portland Thorns emerged victorious in a top-of-the-table clash with the Washington Spirit, after a wild back-and-forth game. Sophia Smith tallied her second hat trick of the season, and Morgan Weaver added an insurance goal. Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez tallied goals for the visitors. The win vaulted the Thorns up to first place as their stars depart for the World Cup next month.
The #1 ranked Washington Spirit rolled into Providence Park looking to keep their top spot in the NWSL table.
Former head coach of the Portland Thorns, Mark Parsons is back at his old stomping grounds, but this time with a different team.
Portland is finally back home after playing 3 consecutive road games. They picked up 6 out of the 9 points.
With this being the last game for players heading to the Women’s World Cup, both teams were looking to end the game with the win.
In the first half, the action was end to end. Portland employed their signature high press to great effect. However, this half was all about Sophia F****** Smith. She did whatever she wanted and could not be stopped. Smith started the scoring in the 11th minute when she dribbled to the top of the box and unleashed a left footed laser. Two minutes later, Ashley Hatch cleaned up in front of goal after a failed clearance to equalize. In the 23rd minute, Sophia Smith earned her brace with her another goal form the top of the box. Her dribbling got her to any spot on the pitch she needed to get to.
However, it was a half of squandered opportunities for Portland. They did not put away any other chances. The Thorns had waves of attacks and chances. Having only a single goal lead into the half felt like a missed opportunity. Washington was on the back foot for the first 45 and looked like the second best side by a mile.
The Washington Spirit wasted no time in tying up the game thanks to another failed clearance by Portland. Ashley Sanchez hit top bins and finished to make it 2-2.
That would be the last time they would score though, as the Thorns dominated most of the final time remaining. Sophia Smith answered two minutes later to complete her hat trick.
Morgan Weaver slammed the door shut in the 64th minute when Sam Coffey lobbed the perfect pass to her for the assist.
Coffey now leads the NWSL in assists with six. Second place? Sophia Smith with five.
Although this was not a clean game by any stretch of the imagination, this was still a huge performance by the Portland Thorns. They still have not played their best, but have found a way to be at the top.
Even with the WWC departures, Portland is a deep team and now others get a chance to step up.
The Portland Thorns are back at the top of the NWSL!
1' Natu almost gives the Thorns the perfect start. Her shot just barely goes wide.
8' Sloppy clearance attempts for Portland nearly results in a goal for Washington.
11’ 1-0 Thorns! Sophia Smith dribbles past the entire backline of the Spirit and launches a left footed rocket for the goal!
13’ 1-1 Ashley Hatch cleans up a failed clearance and equalizes for Washington.
23’ 2-1 Thorns! Sophia Smith is the best player in the NWSL. She is unstoppable! She scores from the top of the box for a brace!
31’ Morgan Weaver with the left footed shot, but barely goes wide
34' Crystal Dunn places a shot in the top 90, but Kingsbury is there.
36' Sophia Smith dribbles past the entire defense and nearly has a hat trick. SO CLOSE!
41’ Sophia takes a shot, Hina takes a shot, and Sincy takes a shot — but no goal
46’ 2-2 Ashley Sanchez finishes a shot off a rebound to tie it up.
48’ 3-2! Sophia Smith 1v1 wins her matchup and slots it home for her second hat trick this season!
64’ 4-2! Morgan Weaver finishes to double Portland’s lead. Sam Coffey provided the perfect lob over the top to assist on the goal.
67’ Olivia Moultrie on for Sincy
70’ Natu hustles from the box to midfield to win the ball off Trinity Rodman.
Play of the game.
76’ Shelby Hogan with her best save of the night on Ashley Hatch.
79’ Vasconcelos on for Weaver. Morgan looked to come off injured. Hoping it is not too serious.
Update: She was walking around and smiling after the game.
90’ Three minutes of stoppage time.
90’+ Taylor Porter comes on for Hina Sugita
FULL TIME: Thorns - 4, Spirit - 2.