The NWSL’s only match on Friday was a pivotal one between first-place Washington Spirit and second-place Portland Thorns. The two sides met last night at Providence Park with the winner taking the first-place spot in the league table. The result was a 4-2 shoutout victory for Portland. Thorns’ post-match top-of-the-table talking points include big nights from Sophia Smith, as well as two players, snubbed from the national team looking to prove the USWNT wrong.
The Portland Thorns Wins Wild Game at Providence Park
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) June 24, 2023
Sophia Smith Record Breaking Hat Trick
Last year’s MVP Sophia Smith had another memorable performance. The 22-year-old became the youngest player to score 30 goals in NWSL history after recording a hat trick. Smith was able to achieve a three-goal night by the 47-minute. She now leads the league in scoring with ten goals in thirteen matches played. Smith is continuing to show impressive form just in time for next month’s World Cup.
Sam Coffey and Ashley Hatch Thrive After World Cup Snubs
Wednesday’s announcement of the United States World Cup roster was not without its critics. two of the biggest snubs were playing last night with Washington’s Ashley Hatch facing Portland’s Sam Coffey. Both players were heavily involved in Friday’s high-scoring affair. Coffey assisted Sophia Smith’s 11-minute goal to give Portland an early 1-0 lead. Then just two minutes later, Ashley Hatch equalized with her seventh goal of the season making it 1-1. Sam Coffey again contributed an assist to Morgan Weaver in the 63-minute to secure the Thorn’s 4-2 win.
Portland Thorns Post Match is Back Atop the Table
The most important Thorns post-match talking point involves the defending champion’s place in the standings. As a result of defeating Washington 4-2, the Portland Thorns have leapfrogged the Washington Spirit to reclaim first place in the league table. With more than half the season already played, Portland is two points clear of Washington and five points clear of third-place North Carolina. The Thorns also have the league’s best goal difference with 15.
Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports, of a Portland Thorns Headshot, on June 23, 2023.
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