The Thorns obliterated the Utah Royals 4-0 on Friday night at Providence Park. FINALLY, A WIN WE CAN BACKFLIP OFF OF!
This was the fire and fury fans have been wanting to see all season. All pistons firing at once. Magical ambition, skill, and energy converging to fill the sky with a fervid red fog. BLOW DRYERS IN BATHTUBS—IT WAS ELECTRIC!
WHAT. A. GAME.
From start to finish and top to bottom, this match was a pop-rocks-in-your-Jello-shot TREAT. Jedi Master Tobin Heath got her first start in a loooooooong time. (She was out with an ankle injury.) And let me tell you, this lady MADE SOME FREAKING HASTE for a goal. It only took her 60 seconds to get the Thorns on the board with their first goal of the night. KNIFE JUGGLERS AND GOAL HUSTLERS —THIS WOMAN HAS SKILLS!
Lindsey Horan tallied the second goal in the 32nd minute for the Thorns when she headed a brilliantly placed free kick from Heath. This was Horan’s seventh goal of the season for Portland—fourth in the league!
Then, while our eyes were still stinging with the Riveters signature celebratory blood smoke, Horan charged the ball out of Utah’s possession, dribbled to the top of the box, and slipped it quickly to Crnogorčević — who gingerly tapped it right past the Royals goalie. SLICK RICK AND CANDLE WICKS- WHO’S HOT LIKE FIRE? Crnogorčević! Crnogorčević!
PRICK OF THE NIGHT
Every rose has its thorn, and boy, did this game have a big nasty one. Moments before the half, Thorns midfielder Midge Purce was dangerously tackled and her right ankle was injured. Purce recently nursed her ankle back from a tough sprain a month or so ago, and it looks like we might have to wait a bit to see this fast fighter back on the roster. Fans got to their feet and cheered her name while she was walked off on a stretcher at halftime. It was a stunning reminder of how tough it's been for the Thorns to flow together due to numerous injuries.
The second half was more of the same—A THRILLING BUSTLE OF THORNS DOMINANCE. The Thorns substituted Malory Weber for Midge Purce at the top of the half. Weber has been with the Thorns since 2016 and is quick to find her rhythm on the field. After 15 or so minutes, the Thorns subbed Tyler Lussi in for Tobin Heath, and within SECONDS, Lussi scored the fourth and final goal of the night. Sorry Lucille Ball, I’d rather have a LUSSI BALLER on the team! This was Lussi’s lit-er-a-l first touch of the ball in the game and her first goal as a Thorn. PUT ON A BIB, YOU’RE GETTING BOOM SAUCE ALL OVER YOUR SHIRT!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE
These goals were not the only show of supremacy on Friday night. Thorns goalie AD Franch pulled down a monster of a save in extra time of the first half when Utah midfielder Katrina Gorry sent a rocket of a kick her way. HIDDEN VALLEY FRANCH DOES NOT REST.
Thorns midfielder Haley Raso looked for a goal every which way she could. That woman put hustle and muscle on every corner of the field but could not get her foot on a good one. NEXT TIME RASO, JUST KEEP IT IN THE BANK!
The Thorns play again on Sunday, July 15 at Providence Park against the Houston Dash. Get your tickets here!
Meanwhile, you can send your positive thoughts, prayers and whatever else you think might help to Midge Purce for a speedy recovery. You can find me at Revolution Hall watching World Cup matches, and you can follow my sweet internet personality @erinjeanius on Twitter!