September 25, 2016
Portland clinches NWSL Shied
PORTLAND THORNS FC 3, SKY BLUE FC 1
PISCATAWAY, N.J. –Allie Long scored two goals and Lindsey Horan added another as the Portland Thorns FC defeated Sky Blue FC 3-1 to capture the NWSL Shield Sunday at Yurcak Field.
Portland (12-3-5, 41pts) finishes with the best record in the league will play host to the Western New York Flash in a semifinal on Sunday, Oct. 2, at Providence Park.
Sky Blue FC (7-8-5, 26pts) got a goal early on when midfielder Kelly O’Hara’s cross from a corner kick was headed in at the near post by forward Tasha Kai in the 6th minute.
Thorns FC leveled the score just before halftime. From a free-kick from about 35-yards out, Tobin Heath sent her delivery into the 18-yard box that picked out Long, who headed past Sky Blue goalkeeper Caroline Casey in the 41st minute. The assist was a league record tenth for Heath.
Thorns FC doubled their lead in the 57th minute when forward Nadia Nadim’s cross from the left flank picked out Horan, whose diving header from the top of the six-yard box was powered into the back of the net. Portland upped their lead to 3-1 in the 84th minute when second-half substitute Hayley Raso whipped in a cross from the left wing that found the feet of Long. Shielding the ball from her defender inside the six-yard box, Long turned and rifled her shot past the diving Sky Blue goalkeeper for her sixth goal of the season.
SEATTLE REIGN FC 3, HOUSTON DYNAMO 0
HOUSTON---Beverly Yanez scored in the 82nd minute to give the Seattle Reign FC a 3-2 come from behind win over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium Sunday.
The Dash went onto double their lead when Andressa played in Denise O’Sullivan behind the defense, O’Sullivan laid it off to Carli Lloyd right at the penalty spot. Lloyd turned and buried her shot in the back of the net.
Reign FC started their comeback in the second half with a goal from Manon Melis. In the 60th minute, Jessica Fishlock sent a long ball over the top of the Houston defense, hitting Melis in stride. Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams came off her line to try to stop the attack, but Melis chipped it over her to make the scoreline 2-1. It was Melis’ fourth goal in the past five matches.
Kim Little tied the game at two goals apiece with her goal. Fishlock was able to collect the ball at the top of the box, and then found Little open in the penalty box. Little slotted the ball home to tie the match. It was the midfielder’s ninth goal all-time against the Dash, the most in Reign FC history.
The game-winning goal came in the 82nd minute from
Yanez. Second-half substitute Carson Pickett served a cross into the box, and Yanez was able to get in front of her defender and poke home the final goal of the night.