The Portland Thorns managed to earn a point on the road against fellow league leaders Sky Blue FC. However, while the point is certainly welcoming, it was primarily due to a single player. With the Thorns' forwards not being able to produce any results, and the Thorns' defense unable to contain Sky Blue's offense, it all fell down to a single player to make the all important saves... and she did.
Stacey: Karina LeBlanc
There should be no explanation needed here, but to avoid giving the impression of laziness, here it is. LeBlanc's defense regularly hung her out to dry, especially late in the game, and she stepped up every time. Even when SBFC rattled a couple shots off the crossbar, LeBlanc looked like she would have had them covered if they'd been on frame.
Jonanna: Karina LeBlanc
Frankly, I'm not sure if I've ever seen a defense so unconscious. The defense played so poorly, at times they might as well not have been there --which, apparently, would have been fine, since LeBlanc stopped every single thing that came her way, regardless of angle, strength of shot, or proximity to the goal. When she came off her line, it was with decisiveness, confidence, and exquisite timing, and her reaction saves were jaw-dropping. If it weren't for LeBlanc, the Thorns would have given up three points in this game, and by all rights they should have given up at least three goals in the process. Instead, they come home with a result, and stay on top of the table. Those saves were huge, and they were beautiful.
Geoff: Karina LeBlanc
No doubt about it that LeBlanc takes this week's Woman of the Match. While the rest of the Thorns' crew seemed to struggle against Sky Blue FC, it was LeBlanc who came up time and again to make huge saves that kept the Thorns in the game throughout. Much has been made of the Thorns' acquisitions of Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan, but given LeBlanc's performance last night, she might actually be the Thorns' best pick up this season.
Who was your Woman of the Match?