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Portland Thorns Beat the Courage to Win a 2nd N.W.S.L. Championship

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lindsey Horan scored in the 50th minute as the Portland Thorns beat the North Carolina Courage, 1-0, on Saturday to win the National Women’s Soccer League championship.

It was a second title for the Thorns, who also won the N.W.S.L.’s inaugural championship in 2013.

The Courage, the defending champions, lost both Taylor Smith and Kristen Hamilton to injury in the first half of the physical match, which was played in front of 8,124 fans at Orlando City Stadium.

“Maybe the most beautiful ugly game I’ve ever been a part of,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons said.

Last season, the Thorns were knocked out by the New York Flash last season in a semifinal match at Providence Park. The Flash went on to beat the Washington Spirit for the league title before moving to North Carolina and becoming the Courage.

The Thorns’ journey this year included a team-bonding trip to Astoria to start the season and a league-high 10 wins at home for a 14-5-5 finish before a 4-1 semifinal victory over the Orlando Pride.

In its semifinal, North Carolina defeated the Chicago Red Stars, 1-0, on Denise O’Sullivan’s goal in the 90th minute.

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