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Lauletta: Pride dig out a result in Portland where Thorns’ struggles continue

Ali Krieger keyed a bend-but-don't-break defensive effort for the Pride on Saturday (photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

The WoSo world went slightly off its axis on Saturday afternoon in Portland. The Pride opened their match against the Thorns with Marta, Sydney Leroux, Emily Van Egmond, and Chioma Ubogagu all on the bench, pounced on two early defensive mistakes, and held on for dear life to take a victory off the league champs at Providence Park. It was the Pride’s first win ever against the Thorns who lost a second consecutive home match for the first time in four years. During Mark Parsons’s first two seasons at the helm the Thorns lost only two home regular season matches total (and a third in the 2016 semifinals.)

Let’s take a look at some talking points from the match:

The Pride found a way

Often what separates average teams from good ones is the ability to take points when conditions are less than ideal. This is doubly true for a league like the NWSL where for the most part, parity is king. On Saturday the Pride had much working against them and still walked out of Providence Park with three points.

If you watch the match back with the goals edited out, you’d probably think the Thorns won handily. The Pride were on the front foot for the opening 20 minutes, and actually took a 2-0 lead. But the Thorns pulled one back and shortly after that made a tactical change from which the Pride never fully recovered…

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