The Portland Thorns decisively defeated the Houston Dash 3-1 late Sunday night at Providence Park. GET YOURSELF SOME BUTTER, THE THORNS ARE ON A ROLL! This win seats Portland in the league's fifth spot with 26 points, just trailing the Chicago Red Stars (4th place) and Orlando Pride (3rd place) who both have 28. The playoff race is a tight one this year and the Thorns have some winning to do in order to achieve a spot in postseason play. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
SWEATY BETTY HOT TAKES
Look, it was so, so hot on Sunday.
HOW HOT WAS IT?
It was magma through your nostrils hot.
It was sear the backs of your thighs on your car seat then caramelize some onions in the passenger seat hot.
It was my skin is burning and my fingernails are sweating hot.
It was I love you but please don’t touch me hot.
Apparently the heat and the 8 pm start time agreed with the Thorns because they absolutely smashed the Dash.
Lindsey Horan scored first in the 15th minute when she once again headed the ball into the goal while just inside the 18. It was a steamy combo of perfect placement just behind the goalkeeper's reach and a perfect ball floated in from Emily Sonnett. LOOK OUT STEPHEN KING, THERE’S A NEW FIRESTARTER IN TOWN. HORAN IS A HAZARD!!
Fans cheered while gargling their own sweat as they waited for the second glorious Horan inflicted goal. Soon enough, in the 31st minute, Tobin Heath wafted a free kick inside the box where Thorns forward Anna Crnogorčević got her foot on the ball, but matched it with the crossbar. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN—GET IN THERE! Don’t worry guys, the Dash left Lindsey Horan, one of the highest scoring women in the league, free to roam, right in the front of the goal. Li Ho tap tap tap-a-rooed the ball into the net. BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS WE’VE GOT SOME TWO GOAL MAGIC!
Houston had their moment in the never setting sun, too. In the 36th minute, a rebound off AD Franch’s paws gave an opportunity to Dash midfielder Taylor Comeau. She popped it into the goal and suddenly the Dash were in the game. CURSES TO VULCAN!
The third Thorn goal was after a perfect feed from Hayley Raso to Crnogorčević. The saucy Aussie sent one inside the box and on the ground. Crnogorčević put some SWISS BLISS on the ball and scored the game sealer. HOT LINKS AND JAR JAR BINKS—THAT’S A SOLID LEAD!
The game wasn’t all sunscorched lollypops and rainbows... there were some real sunBURNS too. Raso found a jolly opportunity after a near Thorns goal and knocked one in. While the team, crowd, and heavens rejoiced, the goal was called back citing that Raso was offsides. OFFSIDES?! OFFSIDES??!? THIS WHOLE COURT IS OFFSIDES!!
The SICKEST burn of the night came from Thorn forward, Tobin Heath—AKA Helios with the special sauce—in the 58th minute. Man, that woman’s feet are made of deception, skill, and glitter. Watching her completely dupe not one but two Dash players in her own time was amazing. GET SOME ALOE VERA! THAT'S GOING TO LEAVE A MARK!
SWEATY AND SALTY
It took 24 or so minutes, but the Thorns totally controlled this match. Their passes seemed more intentional, successful, and motivated throughout. There was more purpose in their collective steps this match—IN MY SALTY SWEAT-SOAKED OPINION. This was the first match that I thought the Thorns didn’t just dominate, but controlled.
Sure, I sat in my own stew of swamp ass for over 90 minutes. Sure, my arm fell numb whilst frantically fanning myself. But you know what? I did it with over 15 thousand other folks who were treated to the coolest moves by Tobin Heath and the hottest goals from one of the top scorers in the league. The Thorns are far from over this season. I truly believe that they are just getting started.
The next three games are CRUCIAL. Catch the Thorns play Sky Blue FC at the official watch party at The Station sports bar on Alberta. The games are also aired online via the NWSL website.
Follow me @erinjeanius on twitter and have a great sweaty summer!