A look at 12 goalscorers during an unbeaten streak

Morgan Weaver needed just one touch to put an exclamation point on the Portland Thorns’ incredible scoring streak.

With 10 minutes remaining in the July 16 game, Weaver intercepted a pass from Gotham goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris aimed at defender Mandy Freeman. As Freeman circled to meet the ball, Weaver connected with his left foot and caught an unsuspecting Harris out of position.

Portland was already leading 4-0 over Gotham when Weaver added to the tally, and his goal was one of 23 scored by 12 different Thorns players during an eight-game unbeaten streak before the break. The Thorns are also first in the NWSL with 29 goals so far this season.

The streak was particularly impressive, as it took place over a period when several key players were on international duty and the Thorns had to rely on a less experienced cast.

“In terms of connectivity, in terms of asking the team to play a certain way, (that stretch) couldn’t have gone better,” coach Rhian Wilkinson said. “We used our depth, we used new faces, and everyone knew their role and fought for each other.”

When the NWSL regular season resumes on Friday night, the Thorns will be looking to continue their streak against Racing Louisville FC. Before kick-off, here’s a look at the team’s 12 goalscorers.

Hina Sugita makes her NWSL debut after signing a three-year contract with Portland in January. (Soobum Im/Getty Images)

Hina Sugita

Sugita is in his first season with the Thorns after playing eight years of professional football in Japan. The midfielder has scored three times this season, including two during the Thorns’ unbeaten streak. All three goals came from his left foot and from inside the box. Sugita is also a member of the Japanese women’s national team.

Sophia Smith is second in the NWSL with eight goals this season. (Soobum Im/Getty Images)

Sophie Smith

A member of the United States Women’s National Team, Smith scored five goals for the Thorns during their unbeaten streak before traveling to Mexico to help the USWNT win the Concacaf Championship. Smith is second in the NWSL with eight goals and first with 30 shots, 20 of which she has on goal.

Kelli Hubly

The defender’s header from a corner on June 3 against Angel City was her first and only goal of the season. She found herself unmarked and connected on the head in the 3-0 win. Hubly played in the NWSL for four seasons, and the June 3 goal was the first of his career.

Christine Sinclair

The Canadian scored twice against Angel City, then again against the San Diego Wave, before becoming her country’s captain in the Concacaf tournament. The 39-year-old has four goals this season for the Thorns and is currently second on the NWSL’s all-time goalscoring list with 58.

Olivia Moultrie is the youngest scorer in the NWSL at 16. (Maria Lysaker/USA TODAY Sports)

Olivia Moultrie

When Moultrie scored her first of two goals so far this season in a June 12 win over Houston, she made history. The 16-year-old’s goal came in the 74th minute of a 4-0 win and made her the youngest goalscorer in NWSL history. The record was previously held by 18-year-old Ellie Carpenter, who was also playing for Portland at the time.

Becky Sauerbrunn, not known for her goalscoring, added to Portland’s tally during the streak. (Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Becky Sauerbrunn

Another experienced veteran, Sauerbrunn has been playing professional football since 2005 while also appearing for the USWNT. The defender’s goal in a 6-0 shutout against OL Reign on June 19 was her first of the season and the first of her career for the Thorns. The 37-year-old also led the USWNT defense at the Concacaf tournament earlier this month.

Natalie Kuika

The Finnish midfielder has signed a two-year contract which begins in 2021 after enjoying a successful college career at Florida State. Kuikka scored nine goals in his four years as a Seminole, but his right-foot tally on June 19 was his first with the Thorns. She has appeared in nine games for Portland this season.

Taylor Porter

The 24-year-old midfielder has scored twice for Portland this season. His first goal was in the 6-0 win over OL Reign, and his second in the 5-0 win over Gotham. This is his second season with the Thorns, having signed with the team in 2021 when USWNT players were competing in the Olympics.

Yazmeen Ryan has one goal and four assists for Portland Thorns this season. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

yazmine ryan

Despite scoring just one goal this season – a header in a 1-1 draw with Angel City on July 1 – Ryan has been an active contributor to Thorns’ attack this season. The 23-year-old midfielder leads the NWSL with four assists.

Marissa Everett

Portland re-signed Everett on February 3 to a one-year contract. She first joined the club in 2019 as a national team substitute player. The 24-year-old, who has played five games this season, scored her first goal on July 16 while registering a season-high four shots.

Hannah Betfort

Portland’s fourth goal in the win over Gotham on July 16 came off Betfort’s head, for its first of the season. The 23-year-old striker played one minute on her debut for Thorns on June 8 and has made six appearances since.

Morgane Weaver

The last goal during Portland’s unbeaten streak leading to the break came from Weaver’s left foot. She has scored two goals in 10 games this season, the first on her debut on April 30 in a 3-0 win over Kansas City. Weaver joined Portland in 2020 as the No. 2 pick in the college draft after scoring 43 goals at Washington State.

Eden Laase is an editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

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