Thorns win third-straight, beat Sky Blue 2-1
Haley Raso scores her first goal of the season

Portland Thorns FC spoiled Sky Blue FC’s chance of a post-season run with a 2-1 win on Saturday night at Yurcak Field in Picasway, New Jersey.

For the Thorns, the three points now push them to an 8-5-5 overall record and 29 points. They are now tied with the Pride in third place (if the Pride had lost to the Reign in Week 17 play then the Thorns would have jumped over two teams, the Pride and the Red Stars in the standings.) This was the third-straight win for the Thorns.

Sky Blue FC remain winless on the season at 0-13-3 and three points. With the loss Sky Blue are officially out of the playoffs and extend the previous record of 13 games winless held by the 2013 Washington Spirit to 16 games.

Portland Thorns FC forward Haley Raso scored first on the night beating Sky Blue’s backline in just the fourth minute to earn the go-ahead goal. Raso’s finish was slotted past Sky Blue goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, who earned her first start of the season in net. Raso finished the game with two shots and four crosses. Stanley picked up one save in the loss.

Before Sky Blue could generate any kind of rhythm to respond offensively, Ana Crnogorcevic added her fifth goal of the season to give the Thorns the 2-0 lead on the road.

Last Sunday Crnogorcevic scored her fourth of the season in the Thorns 3-1 rout over Houston.

Sky Blue got one back thanks to rookie forward Imani Dorsey. Dorsey scored her second of the season when Savannah McCaskill played her through centrally. Dorsey shot it and it deflected off of Thorns FC goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom and over the line to put the home team on the board. Dorsey finished the match with two shots and four crosses. McCaskill earned the assist, for her second of the season.

Sky Blue were missing Carli Lloyd who was called up to the U.S. women’s national team for the Tournament of Nation. On the Thorns side, Adrianna Franch, Emily SonnettLindsey Horan, and Tobin Heath were also named to the roster and missed Saturday’s game.

Sky Blue, despite the result were on the brink of earning the equalizer as the game grew late. McCaskill played in forward Shea Groom in the 60th minute, but Groom’s low-blast was robbed by the post. Groom had two shots and one key pass in the loss.

In the 80th minute, Raquel Rodriguez, after just entering the game in the 78th minute took a free kick from outside the box. Rodriguez’s blast hit off the upper-90 corner post.

The game only continued to look like Sky Blue would get one back, but the Thorns defense held tight and Eckerstrom came up big making four saves on the night.

Sky Blue had the better of the shots on the night with 18 to Portland’s eight. The home team also had the better of the possession with 51.1% to Portland’s 48.9%. Sky Blue returns to action next Friday to square off against the Chicago Red Stars in the only game of the week. Portland returns the following week on Sunday vs. the North Carolina Courage.

This story will be updated.

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