Discover more from Stumptown Footy
Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 2-0 OL Reign
It was a special night on Providence Park where the last Cascadia Rivalry of the year took place. Morgan Weaver stole the show and said: "This is Portland, this is our home."
The Portland Thorns defeated their rivals OL Reign by a margin of 2-0, with the goals coming from Hina Sugita and Morgan Weaver in the first half. The game likely marked Megan Rapinoe’s last appearance in the Rose City, as the Reign and USWNT forward is set to hang up her boots at the end of the year.
The Thorns fans bid farewell with a standing ovation — and the Thorns team sent her home after a huge rivalry win.
The starting XI was full of experienced players, with Christine Sinclair, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Crystal Dunn starting instead of Olivia Moultrie, Hannah Betfort and Kelli Hubly.
For the visitors, Megan Rapinoe started in which could’ve well been her last show in Providence Park. Welsh international Jessica Fishlock was also present on the field since the beginning of the match.
The Thorns had two early chances but on both occasions, the ball got to Claudia Dickey’s gloves easily. After that, some aerial balls by the Reign tried to test Bella Bixby but the keeper responded well.
Nonetheless, Hina Sugita and Morgan Weaver sent the entire Providence Park into a frenzy moments later.
The Thorns rode those two goals through the second half, shutting the Reign down and emerging with a rivalry win to take them two points clear at the top of the table.
12’ Sinclair first, and then Sugita have consecutive good chances but both can’t beat Dickey.
27’ Coffey sends a service to the box but not where Dunn wants it.
28’ BELLA SAVE! Rapinoe gets to test Bella with a low shot that forces her to make a diving save.
29’ Emily Sonnett fouls Rocky and Portland gets a free kick.
30’ GOAL Thorns! 1-0. Coffey sends the ball to the far post, Sinclair lowers it and passes it to Hina who is unmarked on the near post. She scores with a tap.
35’ OFF THE POST! Morgan Weaver hits the post and then Dickey saves Rocky’s low shot.
36’ GOAL Thorns! 2-0 Morgan Weaver scores with a volley and loses it while celebrating!
44’ CHANCE! Sinclair recovers a ball near the box, passes it to Weaver and she, in turn, passes it to Dunn. She shoots but Dickey saves it.
The first half finished with Portland on the front foot and with their rivals not finding any answers to the problem the home team put in front of them. Providence Park was a boiler with a sell-out crowd cheering for the Thorns.
46’ Substitution: Kelli Hubly enters for Sauerbrunn.
51’ CHANCE. Sugita’s shot goes wide by inches.
58’ Klingenberg goes into the books for a foul on Sonnett.
68’ Substitutions: Olivia Moultrie and Hannah Betfort replace Dunn and Sinclair.
77’ More substitutions: Michele Vasconcelos and Reyna Reyes replace Rocky and Meghan Klingenberg.
79’ Great ball by Weaver to Hannah. She shoots but Dickey saves it with her feet.
84’ Megan Rapinoe is subbed off and she leaves the field while the entire stadium applauds her.
Although the Thorns controlled the second half they weren’t as dangerous as they were in the first forty-five minutes. They didn’t need it anyway because the Reign were just having a night off. Neither Rapinoe nor Fishlock were close to beating Bella at any point of the night. The closest chance the visitors had was created by Olivia Van der Jagt and Veronica Latsko in 83’.
In the end, Portland got the win in front of a sellout crowd and Morgan Weaver had another night to remember. This win was celebrated appropriately but it was also a little bittersweet knowing that one of Reign’s OGs is retiring and this Cascadia Rivalry won’t be the same without her. Thank you for the memories, Pinoe.
With these three points, the Thorns are back at the top of the table (thank you, KC) and in two weeks they have another crucial game against the table’s second-place team, the San Diego Wave. Kickoff from Providence Park is set for September 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT.