It already seems like a lifetime ago, but is was only three weeks ago today the Thorns ran out in New Jersey to play the final regular season match.
Everything was on the line; top of table, the Shield, a favorable semifinal matchup.
All the Thorns had to do was beat down this season’s Wooden Spoon (winless since mid-summer, 10 points from 21 matches, GD -27) to lock down the Shield again.
They couldn’t do it.
The Batwomen went up early on a horrific defensive breakdown during a forty minutes full of Peak Crap. Then Sophia Smith – shockingly almost against the run of play – equalized from the spot and then put the Thorns on top just before the halftime whistle.
When Morgan Weaver added a mad early-second-half shoss that flew over Betos’ outstretched arm to put the Thorns up two it looked like it was a done deal.
And then The Collapse of Red Bull.
Gotham pulled two back late, Michelle Betos stood on her head to deny a late Smith winner and the match ended all square, leaving the door wide open and the Shield lying on the floor for the fucking Damndelions to stroll in, casually slap the Shame around, and skip away with the Shield, whistling.
(3-3, Kawasumi (UA), Smith (PK), Smith (Sugita), Weaver (Sugita), Onumonu (Purce), Zerboni (Mewis), YC – Freeman)
Nobody got either the result or the score – several people guessed the Thorns would put three past Betos, nobody had Gotham putting three past Bixby (in fact, every one of our punters assumed the Thorns could keep a clean sheet – sarcastic laugh).
Several players – Daniel Stratton and ABell4 – got the “Smith buries a PK” combination, and Thrakkorzog got the Smith-Sugita combination, too.
Everyone seemed pretty tense, and there was no overwhelming favorite for Story Time, so Pastabake nipped the two points for his Sam Coffey People story.
ABell4 took top honors for getting all three Thorns scorers (plus the PK) as well as refusing to accept the conventional wisdom “McCall Zerboni is a thug” and correctly picking the actual yellow-card recipient, Mandy Freeman.
But with the season going into extra time it’s going to take some might good guessing to catch Thrakkorzog’s eight-point lead. But…turning the tables on the last matchday is not impossible.
Just ask Midge Purce.
|Name||Last Match||Season Total|
Sunday it’s one-and-done. Beat the San Diego Wave and go to the Final.
Lose and go home. As I said over at Stumptown:
“Well…consider the situation.
Portland ended the season on a horrible note, collapsing to the wooden spoon and punting away the Shield through some shockingly poor defending after conceding early, rallying to go ahead, and then utterly folding late.
San Diego sort of drifted into the playoffs with a couple of dreary draws and went down early in the quarterfinal on an appalling goalkeeper error…but rallied through the match to bag the late winner; the perfect opposite of the collapse in Jersey.
So; two teams on opposite trajectories. Throw in that Stoney has outmanaged Wilkinson in the two regular season meetings, and it’s hard to see how any Thorn could look to Sunday with confidence.
I’d like to think there’s something hidden to change that, or that Sinc and RW are just sandbagging. But I think they’re being honest; they have to feel like they’re under the hammer now, between all that and the FO nonsense. I think Sunday is going to be a real struggle – and that’s the optimistic view; at worst it could be Final 2018 Two: Blowout Boogaloo…”~ me, there.
Which will it be?
I have no idea.
(Last meeting, August 27, 2022 at Providence Park, 0-2 loss)
How this works:
Add a comment to this post. As your first line, put your predicted result, for example 3-1 Thorns.
In the body of your comment, start with the goals and assists, like so:
Salem (Free kick)
Next, name the first yellow card recipient: Merritt Mathias
Then a red card. (NOTE: no points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.) Madison Pogarch for mimicking mooning the referee after getting an undeserved yellow.
Make your fun prediction,and give a “thumbs up” to anybody else’s prediction that tickles your fancy: The two teams meet up in the parking lot before the game to burn an effigy of Paul Riley. Nadine Angerer produces not one but two lighters from her pockets.
· Correct score: 5 points
· Correct result (draw/win/loss): 3 points
· Each clean sheet: 2 points
· Each goal-scorer: 1 point
· Each FK/PK/assist/lack of assist: 1 point
· Goal/assist bonus: 1 point
· Player with the first yellow card of the match: 1 point
· A player with a red card: 1 point
· Most liked/most outrageously accurate prediction: 2 points
Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):
Comments must be posted before kickoff, but you can edit or amend an earlier prediction right up to the starting whistle.
Keep your scoreline predictions realistic. No crazy scores just to pad out your odds of getting goals and assists.
The goal/assist bonus is an additional point if you predict the correct scorer and assistant on the same goal, for example, you say Hubly scores from a Boureille assist and that is exactly what happens. P.S. if you say exactly that, and it happens, I will hunt you down and buy you a beer!
Be clear whether you think a goal will be unassisted, assisted, or from a PK/FK. Unassisted = no assist, run of play; Assisted = player who got the assist; PK/FK = not in run of play. For the purposes of this thread, Penalty Kick and Free Kick are the same thing. No entry means unassisted.