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Sunday, December 3, 2023
Dec. 3, 2023

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Smith’s hat trick leads Thorns to 4-2 win over Spirit


PORTLAND — Sophia Smith scored three goals and the Portland Thorns defeated the Washington Spirit 4-2 in a National Women’s Soccer League match on Friday night.

Smith, one of the players selected earlier this week for the U.S. national team headed to the World Cup next month, leads the NWSL with 10 goals this season.

Smith beat a trio of defenders from outside the box for her first goal in the 11th minute, but Ashley Hatch equalized some two minutes later for the Spirit. It was Hatch’s seventh goal this season.

Smith’s second goal was another strike from outside the box in the 23rd.

Ashley Sanchez opened the second half with a goal to tie it up again for the Spirit before Smith got her third in the 47th. Morgan Weaver added a final goal for the Thorns in the 63rd to make it 4-2.

The match was a battle of the two leading teams in the league. With the victory, the Thorns (7-2-4) moved atop the standings ahead of the Spirit (6-2-5).

It was the last club match for players from both sides bound for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Portland’s list included Smith, U.S. teammate Crystal Dunn, Hina Sugita (Japan), Rocky Rodriguez (Costa Rica), and Christine Sinclair and Adriana Leon (Canada).

On the Spirit’s side were U.S. players Trinity Rodman, Aubrey Kingsbury, Andi Sullivan and Sanchez, along with Riley Tanner (Panama).

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