Utah Royals FC Defeats Portland Thorns FC 1-0 to Move Into Third Place

SANDY, Utah – (Friday, September 6, 2019) – Utah Royals FC (9-7-3, 31 points) defeated Portland Thorns FC 1-0 thanks to a goal from DF Becky Sauerbunn and six saves from GK Nicole Barhnart on Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In the first half, Utah’s defense weathered the onslaught of Portland’s offense with Barhnart making four saves to keep the ball out of the back of the net for the opposition. Following a surge from the attack, Royals FC was awarded a corner kick. With a quick one-two pass off the corner from FW Christen Press to MF Vero Boquete, Press sent a cross in to the head of Sauerbunn. And with a flick of her head, Sauerbrunn sent the ball into the back of the net to take the 1-0 lead for Utah.

During the second half Barnhart made two more saves to earn the team’s tenth shutout of the season, the most in franchise history and the second-most for a goalkeeper in league history. 

Despite several more chances on goal the match ended with just one goal between the two squads to give URFC the victory over Portland and lift the team into third place in league standings.

UP NEXT: URFC will take to the road to face Houston Dash on Friday, September 13 at 6:30 p.m. MT as part of a two-game road stint. 


UTA: Becky Sauerbrunn (Christen Press, Vero Boquete) 36th minute: Following a one-two pass between Christen Press and Vero Boquete off a corner kick, Press sent in a cross to the head of Becky Sauerbrunn who flicked the ball into the back of the net. 

- The match marked the first home game at Rio Tinto Stadium in a month, the last was on August 7 against Sky Blue FC.
- DF Becky Sauerbrunn’s goal marked her first with Utah Royals FC and her first across all competitions since May 27, 2017 when she scored a header to help her former team FC Kansas City secure a 1-0 win over Washington Spirit.
- Utah Royals FC defeated Portland for the first time in franchise history, improving to 1-2-3 all-time against the Thorns.
- GK Nicole Barnhart recorded her tenth shutout of the season, tied for the second-most in a single season in NWSL league history. 

Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Portland Thorns
Date: September 6, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Attendance: 10,897
Weather: Sunny and 80 degrees

Scoring Summary:              1 2 F              

Utah Royals FC                    1 0 1
Portland Thorns                    0 0 0

UTA: Becky Sauerbrunn (Christen Press, Vero Boquete) 36’

Utah Royals FC (4-4-2): Nicole Barnhart; Mallory Weber, Becky Sauerbrunn ©, Rachel Corsie, Katie Bowen; Vero Boquete, Katie Stengel (Gunny Jónsdóttir 72’), Lo’eau LaBonta, Desiree Scott; Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press 

Subs not used: Abby Smith, Gaby Vincent, Erika Tymrak, Michelle Maemone, Maddie Nolf, Sydney Miramontez

Portland Thorns (4-4-2): Adrianna Franch; Ellie Carpenter (Kathrine Reynolds 75’), Emily Sonnet, Emily Menges, Meghan Klingenburg; Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Lindsey Horan, Hayey Raso (Tyler Lussi 87’), Christein Sinclair ©; Tobin Heath, Midge Purce (Caitlin Foord 67’)

Subs not used: Britt Eckerstrom, Elizabeth Ball, Ana Crnogorcevic, Simone Charley, Celeste Boureille, Andresshina, 

Stats Summary: UTA / POR
Shots: 7/21
Shots on Goal: 3/6
Saves: 6/2
Corner Kicks: 5/11
Fouls: 12/10
Offside: 2/0

POR: Emily Sonnet 61’ (caution)
UTA: Rachel Corsie 65’ (caution)
POR: Emily Sonnet 78’ (ejection)
UTA: Amy Rodriguez 78’ (caution)
POR: Lindsey Horan 80’ (caution)

Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Assistant Referees: Kali Smith, Melissa Gonzalez
4th Official: Jordan Downs