OL Reign 1
Portland Thorns FC 4
September 30, 2020 – Portland, OR – Providence Park
NWSL Fall Series (OL Reign Matchday 2)
Rescheduled from Saturday September 12 due to air quality, and then delayed another two weeks for ongoing air quality, OL Reign made the trek down I5 to Portland to face Thorns FC in the first match of the NWSL Fall Series for each club. So, this match should have been OLR Fall Series matchday 1, but became 2 because of the ongoing smoke.
As a result, both clubs were the last to play their second matches, when a few clubs had already played three of the four in the September and October run.
The early going saw both clubs pressing, pushing for the early advantage. OL Reign especially seemed to be pressing high with Huerta up top.
Near the end of an increasingly physical first half, Horan found Sinclair for the first goal, then a late first half stoppage time Sinclair penalty and a two goal lead going into the interval.
Portland’s third was a beautiful left footed volley by Rocky Rodriguez a little over ten minutes into the second half and it appeared the home side would cruise.
OL Reign got one back in the 71st with a Bethany Balcer header. Instead of conceding and playing it out, OLR started pushing to make it interesting. But, the home side Thorns didn’t take long to get it back as Sinclair completed her hat trick and a 4-1 lead with 15 remaining.
The 4-1 score line was reflective of the danger of Portland’s attack when it gets going. The Thorns have attacking options and they used them, then brought the future off the bench to almost make it worse.
It is tough to compare the Summer Reign and the Fall Series OL Reign with so many players out on loan. However, the lock down defense has given up six goals in the two road matches. The low scoring offense has managed three in two matches. But, it is very much not a continuation of the midyear tournament in look and feel.
Match: OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns FC
Date: September 30, 2020
Venue: Providence Park, Portland, Ore.
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 75 degrees, mostly sunny
Goals by half 1 2 Total
RGN 0 1 1
POR 2 2 4
POR – Christine Sinclair (Lindsay Horan) 40’
POR – Christine Sinclair (penalty) 45+5’
POR – Rocky Rodríguez (Simone Charley) 57’
RGN – Bethany Balcer (Shirley Cruz) 70’
POR – Christine Sinclair (Lindsey Horan) 74’
POR – Meghan Klingenberg (caution) 35’
Lineups & Stats
RGN: GK Michelle Betos, D Steph Cox, D Kristen McNabb, D Amber Brooks, D Taylor Smith (Madison Hammond 82’), M Allie Long (Dani Weatherholt 64’), M Rosie White (Leah Pruitt 64’), M Shirley Cruz, F Bethany Balcer (Morgan Andrews 82’), F Sofia Huerta, F Jasmyne Spencer (Miranda Nild 82’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Casey Murphy, D Kimberly Hazlett
Head Coach: Farid Benstiti
Shots on goal: 8
Corner kicks: 5
POR: GK Britt Eckerstrom, D Christen Westphal (Madison Pogarch 53’), D Emily Menges, D Becky Sauerbrunn (Kelli Hubly 46’), D Meghan Klingenberg, M Angela Salem (Emily Ogle 84’), M Rocky Rodríguez, M Lindsey Horan, M Christine Sinclair, F Tyler Lussi (Sophia Smith 53’), F Simone Charley (Morgan Weaver 66’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Nadine Angerer, M Gabby Seiler
Head Coach: Mark Parsons
Shots on goal: 8
Corner kicks: 11