The Portland Thorns SMOTHERED The Seattle Reign 2-1 on Saturday solidifying their spot in the 2018 final! SNAPKICKS AND CHOPSTICKS! THE THORNS HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!
DIDN’T WE ALREADY DO THIS?
If you are thinking, “Hey wait a minute, didn’t the Thorns just BEAT THE REIGN last week or something?” YOU ARE CORRECT! The Thorns did defeat Seattle in their last regular season match here in Portland on September 8. That match secured this semifinal location. AND BELIEVE YOU ME—it’s not easy beating the same team twice in a row and certainly a challenge CRUSHING a rival as developed and skilled as Seattle.
A SPICY MATCH
The first half was dominated by the Reign. They did a great job keeping the ball on their half of the field, challenging Portland’s defense and testing the midfield. If it weren’t for Portland goalkeeper, AD Franch, the Thorns would have gone down 4-1. I honestly have never seen so many unbelievable stops wrapped into one game. MY FLABBER HAS NEVER BEEN SO GASTED and the Seattle team seemed simply STUNNED with every stop she made.
The Reign got on the board first in the 29th minute after Thorns defender Emily Sonnett fouled the Reign’s Welsh superstar, Jessica Fishlock. Sonnett was issued a yellow card, the first of many issued to both teams throughout the match. Seattle’s captain Megan Rapinoe kicked a total bender of a free kick, caught the crossbar and finally found the foot of Reign forward Jasmyne Spencer to put the Reign up 1-0. HEXED VEXED AND PERPLEXED—TIME FOR THE THORNS TO GET IN THE GAME!
Don’t get me wrong, there were several moments of give and take throughout the game despite the lack of flow for both teams. The Thorns had opportunities, breaks, and healthy handfuls of near goals. But it wasn’t until just before the end of the first half that it all paid off. Thorns forward Caitlin Foord drove the ball up the field, skootched it over to Horan who masterfully got it to Tobin Heath. Heath used her left foot to slide it right past the Reign’s goalie to put the Thorns on the board and tie things up. Providence Park EXPLODED. No, not literally exploded, but exploded into cheers and relief. My hands were sore from high-fiving strangers. I PEED A LITTLE.
The second half was just like the first half, only EXTRA OF EVERYTHING.
AND, YOU GUESSED IT—MORE BODY ROLLS (By me, not the Thorns.)
As you know, Thorns fans lose their minds when their team scores. But if you want to hear what complete mayhem sounds like when it's impregnated with chaos—you should hear this fanbase ERUPT when there’s a crappy call against the home team. This was the ABSURD case in the 68th minute when a CERTAIN GOAL by Tobin Heath was called back citing offsides. A COLLECTIVE CONNIPTION FIT! THIS WHOLE COURT IS OUT OF ORDER!
The only thing that could right this wrong was a goal for the Thorns, and that’s exactly what they got in the 78th minute. After a series of short passes, Thorns captain Christine Sinclair floated the ball over the Reign’s defense and right into the center of the box to find the only thing more reliable than my Prius: LINDSAY HORAN’S HEAD! Thorns were up 2-1! ALL HAIL THE DOME OF DEPENDABILITY!
A KINETIC WORK OF ART
This game was filled with grit, nerves, penitilites, cheap shots, and even—what seemed like—some personal attacks. Was it pretty? You bet your ass it was. THIS WAS THE SISTINE CHAPEL OF SOCCER GAMES It was goddamn beautiful. I am still stunned that the Thorns are going to the Championship. I mean, they’ve earned it and everything, I just feel really fortunate to have been able to witness it all right here in Portland.
THE NEXT BIG THING
The North Carolina Courage and Chicago Red Stars will play their semi-final match at Providence Park on Tuesday on account of Hurricane Florence. Tickets for that match are just $10! GET THEM HERE! Thorns will face the winner of that match for the 2018 NWSL Championship on Saturday September 22 at Providence Park. TICKETS HERE! Let’s pack the park and lose our minds again next weekend, shall we?
Thanks for reading. Wanna Twitter with me? Find me @erinjeanius