We had some great Blood Smoke this weekend, BUT NOT ENOUGH.
We had some great Blood Smoke this weekend, BUT NOT ENOUGH. Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

The Portland Thorns fell to rivals Seattle Reign 3-2 on Saturday at Providence Park in a GUT-WRENCHING and ardent fight. This was the HIGHEST ANXIETY I’ve felt since the holidays. For hours after the game my pulse continued to race. NO amount of Cabernet Sauvignon could settle me down, much less drown my shock and sorrow. WHAT A BLIZZARD OF EMOTION!

THE GAME
Tensions were high from the get go and neither team took any time warming up to the match. After several set pieces and some substantial saves by Thorn’s goalie Britt Eckerstrom, Seattle scored first with a header on a corner kick. I’VE SEEN BETTER HEADS ON BOILS! HOW DID THAT GET IN?
The Thorns went back to the locker room for half time to reorganize and find a new strategy for attack. Thorns Jedi Master Tobin Heath subbed in at the top of the half, and offered some renewed life up front, dictating the pace and adding her signature swagger to the match. The movement in the midfield seemed far more fluid once the second half started, but it was on a corner kick in the 60th minute when the Thorns equalized the score. Emily Sonnett came through again! SHE’S HOTTER THAN THE VINYL CAR SEATS ON THE BACK OF YOUR THIGHS ON A JULY AFTERNOON!

Emily Sonnett has the EYE OF THE TIGER!
Emily Sonnett has the EYE OF THE TIGER! Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

That even Steven score did not last very long at all. Thorns forward Ana Crnogorčević was called for a foul in the box while chasing down Seattle’s Jessica Fishlock. A penalty kick was issued and Seattle’s Jodie Taylor blasted it right past Eckerstrom. SHIT SICKLES! WE ARE DOWN AGAIN!
Easy does it Ana Crnogorčević! Dont hurt Allie Long!
Easy does it Ana Crnogorčević! Don't hurt Allie Long! Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

What? Your blood pressure not high enough yet? Well, CALL A DOCTOR – 'Cause we are about to put the HYPE back into HYPERTENSION! Things continued to spiral into lavish competitive bliss when Lindsey Horan blasted a masterful cross from Thorn’s Meghan Klingenberg! I’M SPINNIN’, I’M SPINNIN’, I’M SPINNIN’ WHILE MY HANDS UP (Drank)
Lindsey Horan knows how to use her head
Lindsey Horan knows how to use her head Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

At this point in the game, I'd had enough and wanted it to be over. I wanted to go home and be in a quiet place and remember the day as it was.
NOT. SO. FAST.
Both teams had lots of gas in the tank and game left in them. It came as a total shock when Seattle midfielder Rumi Utsugi hammered another goal in from outside of the top of the box in the 75th minute. I don’t think our defense saw that coming at all. THIS WAS BIGGER DISAPPOINTMENT THAN PAUL BLART MALL COP

I GET SO EMOTIONAL, BABY
I want to say that Seattle was a bunch of cheating– roughneck– flopping–craptastic soccer ninnys. But in all honesty, they played a great match. They were hella smart, masterful ball handlers, ferociously fast, organized and RELENTLESS on defense..... It was like the Thorns were playing themselves! LIKE A REAL LIVE FIGHT CLUB WHEN YOU BATTLE YOURSELF BUT PRE-ANGELINA BRAD PITT WAS NOT THERE.

I know the point is moot, but the Thorns played well—really well. They connected well up front and Klingenberg and Purce was mighty on the wings. Both were reliable sources for moving the ball forward and serving inside the box with badass crosses. There were certain opportunities that were missed, though. There were times when Sinclair and Horan had decent looks at the goal but continued to search for something better. Waiting to find a pass or different angle or the stars to align or for Katy Perry to show up on a giant puppet tiger. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HOLD-UP WAS SOMETIMES.

Midge Purce is one of two selfless and tireless wing women.
Midge Purce is one of two selfless and tireless wing women. Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

There are a number of players on the Seattle squad that used to play for Portland. Having Michelle Betos and Allie Long here filled me with insurmountable conflict. It was like seeing your ex and still feeling love for them and remembering all of the good times you had together, and also genuinely being happy for their new life and relationship—but also quietly hoping they kinda fail. THIS IS HONESTY FROM MY COMPLEX HEART
And to top it off, Betos had a great match. I mean, like, breathtakingly good. Like if you don’t see your ex for like a year and then your ex shows up at a party and you ex is Beyoncé. And Allie Long JUST, FREAKING. LEFT. Is her locker even cleaned out at Providence Park? IT WAS JUST TOO SOON FOR ME.
When people say “all the feels” it sounds cute. But I had “all the feels” on Saturday and it WAS NOT CUTE. It just made me feel exhausted and frustrated.

FINDING THE LIGHT AT A DARK TIME
This game, and the season thus far, has been a testament to how small (and precious) the NWSL is right now. There are great teams playing other great teams and while it sucked being on the losing side on Saturday, it sure did make for an amazing match. It didn’t matter the country the players were from, their longevity in the league, their backgrounds or if they were men or women—it made for some high-intensity sport. And even better, this was Lifetime’s Game of the week! ALL EYES WERE ON PORTLAND!

THE HOSTESSES WITH THE MOSTESSES
Speaking of all eyes on Portland, It was announced that Portland will be host to the 2018 championship match! HOLY SMOKES LET’S PACK THE HOUSE!
I am so excited to host whatever teams make it to the final this year. After spending an OPPRESSIVELY HOT AND UNREASONABLY MUGGY weekend in Orlando last year I AM THRILLED to have NWSL fans visit a city that loves soccer and has a wealth of IPA’s.

FINAL THOUGHTS
All in all, losing sucks. Walking to the car is sad, beers after are full of “almosts” and “if we had only’s.” Then there’s social media the next day—with the highlights and quotes from the other team. Then you sit on your deck in the sunshine the next morning, have a mimosa and start writing what is supposed to be a REALLY SAD BLOG—but you end up feeling okay. You end up seeing the bigger picture. The emotion is still there, the result is the same, but you’re still proud to live in a city that—even when attendance is on the smaller side, there are still over 16 thousand people out on a Saturday to watch professional women's soccer. And that game was broadcast all over the world for people to watch. And folks could not turn it off because of the sheer grit and game of the match.
Sure the Thorns lost, but we all won... in some major ways. OPTIMISM IS A CHOICE!

Join the fun on Saturday May 12!
Join the fun on Saturday May 12! Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

UPCOMING GAMES
The next Thorns game is on Wednesday May 9th at 5pm in Houston. You can watch it here on go90. The next home game is on May 12 against Orlando at Providence part at 12:30pm You can buy tickets here! If you haven’t been to a Thorns game this season, please get your ass in motion. The Thorns are the 2017 Champions and deserve to have a sell out crowd every single home match. Follow me on twitter @erinjeanius and GO THORNS FC!