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Raquel Rodriguez, Shirley Cruz make history in Thorns 4-1 win over OL Reign

Photo courtesy of Lucas Muller.

For the first time in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League, two players from the nation of Costa Rica have faced off against each other. There was a chance for history to happen at the Challenge Cup. However, Shirley Cruz sat on the bench for that match.

This time, Cruz took to the pitch against the Portland Thorns in a 4-1 loss for OL Reign. On the other side, her national team teammate Raquel Rodriguez scored a banger of a goal in the 57th goal. Simone Charley sent in a cross and Rodriguez hit it on the first touch, on a volley in the air.

However, despite the final score tally, it was a special moment for two Costa Rican players. Cruz, a veteran and legend of Costa Rica, and her younger teammate Rodriguez, who is becoming the “face of the franchise” for the Costa Rican women’s national team.

Concacaf was widely represented in the box score, too, as Christine Sinclair of Canada scored a hat trick. Two of her three goals came in the first half of play, toward the end of the half. That gave Portland a two-goal lead heading into the locker room for halftime.

Then, early in the second half, Rodriguez scored her stellar goal.

The Reign were able to get one back, with Bethany Balcer scoring off a header in the 70th minute. Cruz beat out rookie Sophia Smith on the right side flank and was able to get a cross into the box. Balcer leapt in the air and was able to send her header past Britt Eckerstrom.

In goal, both goalkeepers were fairly busy. Eckerstrom made seven saves, with three coming against Jasmyne Spencer. Meanwhile, on the other end, Michelle Betos made four saves.

See the goals from Portland vs. Reign


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