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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Adrianna Franch sets shutout record as Thorns, Pride draw 0-0
Tobin Heath returned for the Thorns as Franch recorded her 11th clean sheet of the season

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch set the single-season shutout record, recording her 11th clean sheet of the season as the Thorns and Pride tied 0-0 at Orlando City Stadium. It was the final home game of the regular season for the Pride, who drew a crowd of 7,353 on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Orlando.

The Pride (10-6-7, 37 points) would’ve clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win, but remain in the top four in the NWSL standings. If the Reign lose on Sunday, Orlando will secure a place in the postseason.

With the draw, the Thorns (13-5-5, 44 points) extended their unbeaten streak to five games, one point behind the first-place Courage — but North Carolina can clinch the NWSL Shield with a win on Sunday over Sky Blue FC.

Franch needed just two saves to break the record, previously held by FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart (2013). Orlando took 14 total shots, but the Portland defense came up with seven blocked shots to go with Franch’s saves in the match.

“It’s a honor, but I know have that backline to thank. They put in a lot of hard work. Orlando has threats in behind, in front, and we had to take care of it as a team,” Franch told Dalen Cuff on Lifetime after the game. “We were solid back there tonight. That shutout goes to the whole team.”

A game expected to feature a bit of offense — the Pride are the No. 1 offense in the league and the Thorns are not too far behind — featured just three total shots on goal. Both teams came up big on defense.

Portland’s best opportunity came in the 40th minute, when Ashleigh Sykes and Hayley Raso connected on a give-and-go. Sykes forced a big kick save from Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Monica swept in for the follow-up goal-line clearance.

 

Thorns midfielder Tobin Heath made her 2017 NWSL debut after missing the season with a back sprain. She served in a free kick in the 65th minute, but Portland was unable to score. After her initial service was blocked, Heath passed the rebound to Amandine Henry. The Thorns midfielder’s shot was too high.

 

Just five minutes later, Marta served a dangerous, bending free kick into the box for the Pride. Monica rose for the ball, but could not get her header on target.

One of Franch’s saves came on an Alex Morgan shot in just the 12th minute. Morgan and Marta teamed up yet again as Marta sent a long ball over the top, but Franch was there to collect Morgan’s shot.

Following the draw, the Pride are now unbeaten in their last eight games.

“It’s really fun when both teams try to play football,” Pride defender Ali Krieger told Cuff on Lifetime. “It was a great game, great matchup. … Hopefully we’ll see them in the final, not in the semis.”

 

Though the game is the final regular season home game for the Pride, they’re hoping it won’t be their last as the NWSL Championship will take place on October 14 at Orlando City Stadium.

Orlando will head to North Carolina for their final game of the regular season on Saturday. The Thorns will host the Red Stars on Saturday in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.

 

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