The Seattle Reign earned a 1-0 win over rival Portland Saturday night and moved into second place in the National Women’s Soccer League table.
Megan Rapinoe dribbled to the end line and drew Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to the left side of the box in the 89th minute. Rapinoe then crossed to Julie Taylor, who easily tapped the ball in before Franch could shift back to the middle.
Portland (6-3-5, 23 points) slipped one point ahead of Orlando, which fell to first place North Carolina earlier Saturday. The Courage own a commanding hold on the first place spot, sitting 13 points ahead of second-place Seattle.
Last season, the Thorns used a late surge to spark their NWSL championship run. Portland (5-5-5, 20 points) is once again in need of a midseason spark, falling to their rivals despite getting eight saves from Franch.
“The group worked hard. We never stopped that, and that’s why it feels very harsh,” Portland coach Mark Parsons explained. “It feels very tough to take, because I thought a point was the fair result. These were two teams that had chances, two teams that worked very hard, and it’s brutal to be on the [losing] end of it.”