NWSL Focus: Thorns claim second with 3-1 win over Reign before sell-out crowd

In their final game of the regular season, the defending champion Portland Thorns overtook archrival Seattle Reign with a 3-1 win before a sell-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park and claimed second place, securing a home playoff match for a third consecutive season.

The win sets up a rematch against Seattle in the NWSL semifinals on Sept. 15 at Providence Park.

"We don’t do what we do tonight without that," Coach Mark Parsons said of the support. "That’s why it’s so important for us to bring this game back here. Our objective is to win a championship."

U.S. national team stars Lindsey Horan (two goals) and Tobin Heath (one goal, one assist) teamed up for all three goals in the comeback. Horan continues to make a case for Player of the Year. She ranks tied for second in the NWSL with 13 goals, the most ever by a Thorns player in a single season.

“She’s incredible," said Heath. "She’s just massive for us. We’re lucky to have her here at the club and to watch her grow. This is just the beginning for her here and with the national team, and as long as we can continue to support her and have her be successful here that’s what we love to do.”

The Thorns finished with three straight wins and are unbeaten in their last five games. They are 7-1-1 since losing to the Reign, 1-0, on June 30.

-- The North Carolina Courage, the runaway Shield winner, will play the Chicago Red Stars Sept. 16 in the other semifinal.
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