Thorns play Western N.Y. to scoreless tie



Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made a season-high 10 saves, including five in each half, as Portland Thorns FC battled to a scoreless draw with the Western New York Flash before 7,606 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., on Saturday.

LeBlanc registered her seventh shutout of the season, coming up with a late save on a long-distance free kick by Flash defender Brittany Taylor in second-half stoppage time.

The Thorns (10-6-5, 35 points) are tied on points with both Western New York and Sky Blue FC. By virtue of a superior goal differential, Western New York remains the second seed in the National Women’s Soccer League playoff picture. Portland is the third-seeded team and Sky Blue FC is fourth.

Entering the final week of the regular season, the Thorns are still in contention for the second seed and the ability to host a home playoff game.

To get the No. 2 seed, Portland must win at Seattle Reign FC on Saturday, Aug. 17, and hope for a Western New York loss or draw versus Boston and a Sky Blue FC loss or draw against Washington.

Among other playoff scenarios, the Thorns can also draw against Seattle and still earn the No. 2 seed with a Western New York loss and a Sky Blue FC loss or draw.

If Western New York loses and both Portland and Sky Blue FC win, the Thorns must maintain a greater goal differential in order to stay ahead of Sky Blue FC. If Sky Blue FC and Portland are tied on goal differential, the tiebreaker will move to total goals.