NWSL: Sophia Smith helps Thorns cruise past slumping Reign

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The Portland Thorns cruised to a 4-0 home win over the Seattle Reign on Saturday night in the latest edition of the Cascadia Cup rivalry.

Leading the way for the Thorns (5-3-1, 16 points) was once again Sophia Smith, who had a goal and three assists in the victory. Smith leads the NWSL in both goals (eight) and assists (six) this season.

After both teams struggled to get things going in the opening 30 minutes, Smith found some space down the right side in the 42nd minute before playing a pass into the box to Olivia Moultrie, whose strike found the far corner of the goal to put Portland up 1-0.

The Reign (2-6-1, 7 points) nearly tied the score in first-half stoppage time, but a rebound chance off a save from Portland keeper Shelby Hogan was tipped over the crossbar by defender Kelli Hubley. That was the best chance Seattle had for the remainder of the match.

The second half played out much like the first, with the majority of the action coming in the final 15 minutes. In the 79th minute, Portland was awarded a penalty after a video review determined there was a handball in the Seattle box. Smith then coolly converted from 12 yards out to extend the lead to 2-0.

It unraveled for Seattle in stoppage time, as a pair of Smith crosses led to two top-notch goals from Hina Sugita and Payton Linnehan.

After going winless in their first four matches of the season, the Thorns have won five in a row and sit in fourth place in the NWSL standings at the end of Saturday night’s games.

–Field Level Media

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