Pride get first win over Thorns, 2-1 at Providence Park
Morgan and Nairn scored their first goals of the year
Thorns vs. Pride in Week 7. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/
Thorns vs. Pride in Week 7. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/

The Orlando Pride went into Providence Park on Saturday afternoon and came out with a 2-1 win over Portland Thorns FC. A crowd of 17,115 was on hand for the game in Portland, Oregon.

It’s Orlando’s first win over the Thorns in franchise history. With the win, the Pride improved to 3-2-3 (12 points) and jumped into second place pending the rest of Week 7’s results later Saturday. They are unbeaten in their last five (3-0-2 in that span).

For the Thorns, it’s their fifth-straight game without a win (0-2-3 in that span) and they are now 2-3-3 on the season.

Both teams came in on a short turnaround after Wednesday night draws.

Alex Morgan gave the Pride a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute with her first goal of the season.


Morgan started the game and played all 90 minutes, despite being questionable after suffering a left shoulder sprain late on Wednesday night vs. Utah.

Orlando made several changes to the starting line-up after Wednesday night’s game, including starting with Marta, Sydney Leroux, Dani Weatherholt and Emily van Egmond on the bench. Leroux, Weatherholt and van Egmond all entered in the second half.

Christine Nairn doubled the lead in the 21st minute with a long-distance left-footed strike.



Christine Sinclair scored just two minutes later to cut Orlando’s lead to 2-1, heading home a Tobin Heath corner kick to put Portland on the board.


It’s Sinclair’s league-leading fifth goal of the season, to go along with her league-leading three assists.

But the Thorns would not be able to tie the game. After having a goal called back in the seventh minute because a player was offside, the Thorns also had a goal called back after Lindsey Horan and Ashlyn Harris collided in the box in the second half.

Harris made five saves in the game, including a big stop on Heath in the 52nd minute, just a few moments after the collision with Horan.

Including last year’s playoff loss, the Pride had been 0-5-1 vs. the Thorns before Saturday’s win.

“We haven’t come into this stadium and done what we wanted to do. Today, we dominated. I feel like we deserved to win. It just feels so good to get our first win in purple at Providence Park,” Morgan told Dalen Cuff on Lifetime after the game. “I just want to cry. It’s so special. I’ve been on this team for three years now and we’ve never been able to win here.”

“This is a very, very difficult place to come and play. The fans are phenomenal for this team,” Harris told Cuff. “Portland is a really, really tough team.”

The Thorns led in possession (54.3% to 45.7%) and outshot the Pride 24-13, but Orlando had the edge in shots on goal (7-6).

Ellie Carpenter made her first start for the Thorns, after making her NWSL debut on Wednesday night. Emily Menges (right tibia stress syndrome) started and played 45 minutes, her first game of the season.

Both teams now get some rest. The Thorns visit the Spirit on Saturday night. The Pride won’t be in action again until Wednesday, May 23, at home vs. the Courage.




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