The Portland Thorns fell 3-0 to the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL Championship match Saturday afternoon at Providence Park. FARTS ON FEATHERS!
Any honest Thorns fan would agree that this was going to be a tough match—despite home field and hurricane advantage. THORN- FIELD ADVANTAGE CANNOT DO IT ALL! Look, I’m not getting all Julia Roberts and "sleeping with the enemy," but both teams played a good game and the result—though not savory for my taste—was earned.
Last year, when the Thorns crushed the Courage for the cup in Orlando, the game was different. It was the closest thing to a the movie Roadhouse—but without Patrick Swayze or a steamy SEXY backstory involving a blonde doctor. SNAPKICKS AND FRENCH KISSES!
This Saturday was different. It was a SOLID GOLD match up and the Thorns simply could not handle the Courage. I’M NOT ANGRY, I’m disappointed and a little sad. It’s just that things did not go the way my whimsical pregame dream wanted. (It involved unicorns, Michelle Betos, and Chairy from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. It was at my house, but it wasn’t my house—know what I mean? And Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" was being mashed up with Ludacris’ "Rollout" and... look it was a dream, and it didn’t make sense but it was pretty cool.)
The game started in a HUSTLE of nerves from both teams. Possession felt evenly distributed, but both defenses were THICK and RESISTANT. Something dissolved in the 13th minute for the Thorns when Courage forward Lynn Williams took a hot shot that BLASTED the crossbar, but found Debinah’s head and then the back of the net. North Carolina was up 1-0. STOP LOOKING AT ME WHEN I CRY!!!!!!!!!!!
Like my mother often says, “One goal ain’t shit.” AND SHE’S RIGHT—there are SO MANY minutes in a soccer game ... 90 and change to be exact. So giving up and eating nachos until I got sick was not an option—it was a choice. HOPE OVER NACHOS 2018! I was ready to sit back and watch the Thorns come back and sink this unstoppable ship called The Courage when North Carolina’s Jaelene Hinkle shoved a kick into the box for Jessica McDonald to head tap into the back of the net. CHOPSTICKS THREE, HOW CAN BE?!!
Halftime happened. NO there wasn’t a show. Or dancers. Or marching bands. Just a couple dudes with a big hose watering fake grass. THIS IS THE NWSL, NOT THE NBA. OR THE NFL. What... did you think Beyonce was going to show up with the rest of Destiny’s Children? Did you think there would be holograms of Robert Plant doing a duet with Benjamin Franklin about equal pay and reproductive rights? NO. WE WENT PEE AND GOT MORE BEER... And we PRAYED the Thorns would find their footing!
Oh boy, the second half was just as much un-fun as the first. I’ll be honest, I TOTALLY BELIEVED the Thorns could switch it up and make it happen. But that last goal by the Courage in the 64th minute sealed it up. Jessica McDonald scored her second with an assist from Merritt Mathias. McDonald instantly pulled her jersey over her head to revel an undershirt that read “Jesus Paid It All.” This was instantly proved wrong when I to the gangway and had to PAY FULL PRICE for a cider. WHATEVER, JESUS.
Look, the Thorns had some incredible opportunities, some great shots, and some MONSTER SAVES. This was a good game that could have been a friggin' mess. HASHTAG NOT A BLOODBATH DOT COM!
It was amazing to have the final match broadcasted on national TV with over 21 thousand fans screaming their faces off in support of TWO OUTSTANDING TEAMS. And our hometown facility was ready and prepared for all of the action. HOT DOGS ON THE READY!
Frankly, in my IPA DRENCHED OPINION, the timing of this Thorns team was perfect. Head Coach Mark Parsons and his crew managed some tough injuries early and late in the season. And I love seeing how the roster is peppered with more experienced players and newer talent.
'Twas a fun season. 'Twas a rough night. And 'twas a shit stack of solid sadness for Thorns players and fans alike who wanted to end the season in the full glory of a homefield Championship.
FIGHT. EXPERIENCE. TENACITY.
See you in 2019.