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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Thorns hope to continue climb at home

By , Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

With their roster almost complete, the Portland Thorns will try to continue to climb up the National Women’s Soccer League standings on Wednesday.

The Thorns will shoot for a third consecutive win as Sky Blue FC visits Providence Park for a 7 p.m. match.

The match will be live on Comcast Sports Northwest (cable channel 37).

Portland (6 wins, 4 losses, 2 ties) shares third place in the standings with 20 points after an impressive 6-1 road win on Saturday over the Washington Spirit. And the Thorns have played fewer games than any other NWSL team.

Forward Alex Morgan scored two goals and had an assist in the win at Washington, her second appearance this season for the Thorns. Tuesday, Morgan was named NWSL player of the week.

Jessica McDonald also scored twice in the win at Washington, giving the forward a team-leading eight goals which is third most in the league.

The win at Washington was Portland’s second consecutive over the Spirit after a 5-0 loss at home on June 7 to Western New York.

Sky Blue (2-6-6) sits eighth in the nine-team NWSL. It has scored a league-low 14 goals and has been scored against a league-worst 24 times. But one of their wins came at Providence Park, a 1-0 victory on May 24 on a goal from Kelley O’Hara on a free kick from Christine Rampone.

The teams also played to a 1-1 draw on April 19 in Piscataway, N.J.

But this is a different Thorns team than played in the first two matches against the team from New Jersey. Morgan and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke are healthy for the first time this season. Spanish midfielder Veronica Boquete and Australian left back Stephanie Cately joined Portland two weeks ago. Boquete was last week’s NWSL player of the week.

The Thorns, who outshot Sky Blue 18-9 in the May 24 match, have taken a league-high 201 shots and their 93 shots on goal ranks second in the NWSL.

Midfielder Katy Freels has scored four goals to lead the Sky Blue attack. O’Hara has three goals.

Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter