The Thorns finished the regular season with a 14-5-5 record — and the league’s best record at home: 10-1-1, becoming the first NWSL team to ever win 10 games at home. Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch set a new NWSL single-season record with 11 shutouts as Portland conceded just 20 goals, best in the league.
As the Thorns prepare for their semifinal meeting with the Pride on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, Lifetime), let’s take a look back at the key games and moments that led them to the NWSL Playoffs.
April 15: Win No. 1
Thorns 2 Prideo 0
The Thorns finished the regular season with 10 home wins and 11 shutouts — both high marks that began with their opening day win over the Orlando Pride. Christine Sinclair tallied the first of her eight goals and Franch made the first seven saves of her record-breaking season.
May 6: Cascadia Classic
Thorns 2 Reign 2
When Portland and Seattle meet, it never disappoints.
Jess Fishlock put the Reign up in just the second minute and then equalized for the Thorns with an own goal in the first half. Seattle quickly retook the lead and the Thorns needed a late equalizer from Allie Long to earn the point at home.
May 19: Nadim leads road comeback
Breakers 2 Thorns 2
On the road on a Friday night in Boston, Portland fell behind 2-0 just 48 minutes in. Nadia Nadim converted a penalty kick in the 57th minute before equalizing in the 83rd minute.
Nadim scored four of Portland’s first seven goals, carrying the load on offense for the first quarter of the season.
July 8: Horan salvages a point in Houston
Thorns 1 Dash 1
On the road. Down a goal. 91st minute. Lindsey Horan.
After a rough stretch that saw the Thorns lose three times in four games, Horan stepped up for a dramatic game-tying free kick to keep Portland from a road loss.
The stunning goal was the turning point of the season for the Thorns.
Portland never looked back, losing just one time in the 11 games that followed to close out the season.
July 15: Thorns shut down the Courage
Thorns 1 Courage 0
The Thorns followed the game in Houston up with a win over the Courage, who went on to win the NWSL Shield. In an impressive defensive performance, Portland shut down the North Carolina offense. Franch earned her seventh clean sheet in the win. Hayley Raso scored the game’s only goal on an assist from Meghan Klingenberg.
Klingenberg finished the regular season tied for second in the league with six assists. Courage defender Taylor Smith hit a shot off the crossbar in the game’s final minutes, and Portland walked away with all three points.
August 12: Thorns move into 2nd place
Red Stars 2 Thorns 3
Portland’s hot streak continued on the road in Chicago and the Thorns moved into second place in the league with a 3-2 win over the Red Stars. It was the fourth straight win for the Thorns, who recovered to win after losing a 2-0 lead. Klingenberg earned another assist on Emily Sonnett’s game-winning goal in the 55th minute.
August 26: Raso’s brace at Memorial
Reign 1 Thorns 2
Raso won Player of the Week after scoring two goals on the road in Seattle in the Thorns’ 2-1 win over their arch rivals. It was the first road win for the Thorns over the Reign since 2013 when Sinclair tallied a brace in the win.
The victory also meant that the Thorns — and not the Reign — became the first NWSL team to win 50 games. Both teams came into the match with 49 wins in their history.
The Thorns clinched a playoff spot the following week, and went on to clinch a home semifinal as well. They finished the season on a six game unbeaten streak, going 5-0-1 to end the regular season.
The Thorns will host the Orlando Pride on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (Lifetime) in the first semifinal of the 2017 NWSL Playoffs.