It's hard to write this quick recap without engaging in extreme sarcasm, so forgive my terseness.
The Thorns entered this match needing a draw to guarantee a playoff spot. Instead, they left Dilboy Stadium on the crap end of a 2-1 result, dropping their record to 10-6-4, 34 points, in front of a sellout crowd of 3,012.
After a scoreless first half, Portland struck first, at the 52nd minute mark. As Christine Sinclair slipped a nice 10-to-15-yard pass to Tiffany Weimer, Weimer timed her run just right, sliding past the Boston backline and placing the ball far post, for a 1-0 score.
Weimer did not start the game, but had gone on early in exchange for Thorns star forward Alex Morgan, who sustained a knee injury in the 12th minute. In a moment that sucked the air out of the game, Morgan went down awkwardly after a tackle by former Thorn Jazmyne Avant. The injury stopped the game for six minutes as Morgan was carted off on a stretcher, and initial reports hinted strongly at a potential ACL or PCL injury. Fortunately, later reports from the Thorns FO stated via Twitter that Morgan had sustained a left knee injury and will undergo further evaluation tomorrow. A key part of that tweet was "initial reports encouraging."
The rest of the match was not so encouraging. After Weimer's goal, Portland head coach Cindy Parlow Cone subbed defensive-minded midfielder Courtney Wetzel in for the attack-minded Danielle Foxhoven at 60', but at 68', Boston tied it up when Breakers star Sydney Leroux found a wide open Lianne Sanderson in front of the goal. Sanderson scored far post.
Boston's winning goal came after player-coach Cat Whitehill, on a free kick from Boston's side of the field, found the ever-dangerous and wide-open (there's that phrase again) Heather O'Reilly on the left flank. O'Reilly charged toward the goal and shot before Thorns keeper Karina LeBlanc could make a decision about coming off her line. The 84' goal gave the Breakers the lead for good, and the game ended 2-1.
Portland can still slip into the playoffs bass-ackwards with a win tonight by the Washington Spirit over the Chicago Red Stars.
Quick note: Parlow Cone started Casey Ramirez in place of the usual Marian Dougherty at out back, and subbed defender Tina Ellertson in for forward Mana Shim late in the game, when the Thorns were chasing a goal. Shim has four goals in her previous four games.