Sky Blue tops Thorns
Samantha Kerr scored twice and had an assist on Saturday, leading Sky Blue FC to a 3-1 win over the Portland Thorns.
Christine Sinclair scored in stoppage time to prevent a shutout for the visitors in the National Women's Soccer League game watched by 16,736 fans at Providence Park.
Sky Blue jumped ahead less than 30 seconds after the opening kick when Raquel Rodriguez scored from 15 yards out off a Kerr feed.
Kerr scored counterattack goals in minutes 70 and 88 as the visitors from New Jersey avenged a loss to Portland 15 days earlier.
Sky Blue moved ahead of Portland, moving into third place in the NWSL standings at 5-4-1 for 16 points from 10 games. The Thorns are in fourth place at 4-2-3 for 15 points from nine matches.
"We weren't at our best, and you know that's what's great about this league. Even when you play at home, when you're not at your best as a team, as a collective unit, you can lose games," Thorns coach Mark Parsons said.
"So credit to Sky Blue. I thought they did a super job."
The Thorns fell behind 27 seconds into Saturday's match. Portland's Emily Sonnett headed away an early cross into the box, but the ball found Kerr deep on the right wing side of the penalty area, and she cut back a pass to the open Rodriguez.
Portland had chances to get even, including a one-on-one opportunity for Sinclair in the ninth minute that rolled just wide.
Sky Blue nearly doubled its lead in the 32nd minute, but Sarah Killion put her penalty kick wide left after Leah Galton was fouled by Celeste Bourielle.
Kerr's second-half goals came when she got behind the Portland defense as the Thorns pushed players forward.
A minute after Kerr made the score 2-0, Lindsey Horan put the ball into the goal for Portland when she headed a beautiful ball from Amandine Henry. But the play was ruled offside.
The Thorns scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Sinclair put home the rebound after Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan stopped her penalty kick. Henry drew the foul that earned the penalty kick.
Sheridan was credited with six saves and made a nice stop diving to her right to grab a Horan header in the 58th minute with the score 1-0.
"I'll have to re-watch the game, but I actually thought we played pretty well," Sinclair said. "But this is the first team that sort of punished the mistakes we made. Our final passes, our final shots were just off tonight. But I thought overall we played well. We'll learn from it."
Portland played without forward Nadia Nadim (hamstring strain). Tobin Heath (back), Meg Morris (hip) and Katherine Reynolds (groin) remain out.
Next for the Thorns is a trip to Washington to face the Spirit at 4 p.m. Saturday.