The Portland Thorns defeated the Boston Breakers 1-0 at Jordan Field in Boston, MA, as Christine Sinclair netted her 8th goal of the season, guaranteeing the Thorns will host a semifinal for the second consecutive season.
The Thorns were unable to find much of a rhythm throughout the match, as the Breakers came out of the gate looking to disrupt the Thorns attack through physical, pressing play. This allowed Boston to control possession throughout much of the match, as Midge Purce, Natasha Dowie, and Rosie White looked to provide plenty of attacking opportunities for the hosts, only to see the stellar goalkeeping of Adrianna Franch keep them from finding the back of the net, as she made 4 saves on 17 shots.
While chances for the Thorns were few and far between, they were able to find the breakthrough they needed. After a long period of sustained pressure by the Breakers, the Thorns were able to capitalize on the counter, as Kat Reynolds sent the ball up field to Hayley Raso, who quickly fought through the Breakers’ defense and laid the ball off to Sinclair, who easily sent it past Abby Smith in the 72nd minute.
The goal brought new life to the Thorns, as the Breakers looked to throw everyone forward in an attempt to level the match, but the Thorns’ defense was able to hold strong, as Franch earned her NWSL record-tying 10th shutout of the season.
The victory game the Thorns their 13th of the season, setting a new team record victories and points (43) in a season.
The Thorns currently sit two points behind North Carolina (15-6-0, 45pts), but the Courage hold a game in hand over the Thorns with three weeks left in the regular season.
After a weekend off for the international window, the Thorns will head to Orlando to take on the Pride at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, September 23rd. The Thorns will then close out the regular season at home against the Chicago Red Stars on September 30th.