Thorns top Red Stars
The Portland Thorns moved into second place in the National Women's Soccer League on Saturday with a 3-2 victory at Chicago.
Emily Sonnett's second goal in as many weeks provided the winning margin as Portland won its fourth consecutive game to improve to 9-4-4 for 31 points. The Thorns jumped ahead of Chicago (8-4-5, 29 points), which was beaten at Toyota Park for the first time this season.
North Carolina remains atop the league with 33 points pending its game on Sunday at Seattle.
Hayley Raso and Christine Sinclair also scored for the Thorns, who led 2-0 early. Christen Press and Sofia Huerta pulled the Red Stars into a 2-2 halftime draw.
Sonnett, who scored her first career regular-season goal a week ago, put the Thorns up 3-2 in the 55th minute. The center back got to a free kick taken by Meghan Klingenberg, leaping to meet it eight yards from goal and and nodding it inside the far post.
The Red Stars pushed for a tying goal, and came close on a Press shot that went a couple feet wide in the 84th minute.
Portland scored on its only three of its shots on target in the match, two of them inside the first 10 minutes.
Raso scored her third goal of the season before the match was three minutes old. The Australian forward chased down a ball from Lindsey Horan out of midfield, splitting the Chicago defense and putting a shot past a sprawling goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher .
Sinclair's fifth goal of the season made it 2-0 in the ninth minute. The chance was created when Amandine Henry collected a pass from Raso in the right side of the penalty area then cut a pass back toward the penalty spot. Dagny Brynjarsdottir got a touch on the ball and dropped it to Sinclair for the finish.
But the lead did not last.
In the 16th minute, Press pounced on a rebound for the first Chicago goal after Alyssa Mautz took a shot from distance that forced a leaping save from Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
In the 38th minute, Huerta tied it after Julie Ertz outfought three Thorns defenders in the penalty area to create the opportunity.
The Thorns now go to FC Kansas City for a Wednesday match before returning home to face Houston next Saturday.