Thorns rally to earn finals berth, will play at Western NY for NWSL title
It'll be the Portland Thorns FC versus the Western New York Flash on Saturday in Rochester, N.Y., for the National Women's Soccer League championship.
The Thorns advanced with a 3-2 overtime victory at FC Kansas City, while New York topped visiting Sky Blue FC 2-0 in Saturday's semifinals.
The title game will start at 5 p.m. PT at Sahlen's Stadium, the Flash home field in Rochester.
During the NWSL regular season, the teams tied in both meetings. Portland came from behind for a 1-1 draw July 14 at Jeld-Wen Field and played New York to a 0-0 standoff Aug. 10 at Sahlen's Stadium.
Both teams had 38 points in the regular season, with the Thorns going 11-6-5 and Western New York finishing 10-4-8.
In the semifinals at Overland Park, Kan., Portland midfielder Allie Long got the winning goal in the 103rd minute, capping a rally from two goals down.
Long took a pass from substitute forward Tiffany Weimer and hit from 18 years. It was Long's fourth goal of the season.
Portland went on to protect the lead in the second 15-minute OT period and held KC to one shot in overtime.
Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc wound up with a season-high 10 saves.
Kansas City scored in the 12th and 25th minutes to lead 2-0.
Portland midfielder Tobin Heath scored in the 33rd minute and got the equalizer in the 65th minute on a goal by Weimer.
Portland led 21-14 in shots for the game, with a 12-10 edge in shots on goal.
Thorns star forward Alex Morgan, nursing a knee injury, did not play.
Carli Lloyd, a U.S. national team midfielder, scored both Western New York goals in the Flash's semifinal victory. She connected in the 33rd minute and in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.