NWSL: Thorns strike early, often in shutout of Red Stars
The Portland Thorns scored three goals in the first 16 minutes and were never threatened while recording a 4-0 victory over the visiting Chicago Red Stars on Sunday afternoon.
Crystal Dunn had one goal and one assist and Kelli Hubly, Olivia Moultrie and Natalia Kuikka also scored for Portland (4-1-3, 15 points). Sam Coffey had two assists for the Thorns.
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The victory snapped a three-game winless stretch (0-1-2) for the Thorns.
The last-place Red Stars (1-6-1, 4 points) are 0-4-1 over their past five NWSL matches.
Portland had a resounding 22-8 edge in shots and put 12 on target while Chicago didn’t place a single one on goal.
The Red Stars had an opportunity to get on the board in the 66th minute when Bianca St-Georges was in close but her right-footed shot smacked off the right post.
Portland’s Bella Bixby wasn’t called on to make a save during her third shutout of the season.
Alyssa Naeher had eight saves for the Red Stars.
Portland’s first goal came in the eighth minute after Coffey took a free kick and sent a long ball ahead and before it hit the ground, Hubly knocked it in with her lower left leg for her first goal of the season.
In the 14th minute, Hina Sugita spotted an open Dunn in front of the net and fed her the ball. Dunn quickly sent a right-footed shot past Naeher for her fifth goal of the season to make it 2-0.
Two minutes later, the lead grew to 3-0 as Dunn delivered a cross and Moultrie tapped it in with her left foot. It was Moultrie’s second goal of the season.
Portland had a 12-4 edge in first-half shots and put six on target. The Red Stars didn’t place a shot on goal in the half.
The Thorns increased the lead to 4-0 in the third minute of the second half. Coffey delivered a stellar pass to the far post and Kuikka headed the ball into the top left corner for her first tally of the season.
–Field Level Media
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