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Thunder get franchise performance

Portland sets a record for points in 72-48 rout of Jacksonville
July 11, 2015

PORTLAND - On “Christmas in July” night, the Thunder celebrated in a variety of ways, from the team’s Inaugural Teddy Bear Toss, to simulated snow following every Thunder touchdown.

The greatest gift of the evening came through Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley’s six touchdown passes, setting Portland (4-10) up for a 72-48 victory over the Jacksonville Sharks (7-7) in front of 7,123 fans at Moda Center Saturday evening.

The 72 points set a franchise record of points scored in a single game, as well as the franchise record for victory by margin, with 24. Rowley threw for 235 yards, and added a seventh touchdown rushing.

“Offensively, we felt good the last two weeks,” Rowley said.

The win is the Thunder’s first since Week 9, and moved them into a tie with Spokane for the final playoff spot in the National Conference. The teams play each other once more this season.

“We need to expect to win, you can’t let what happened in the past change who you are as a football player,” Rowley continued. We should expect to win, that’s how you do it.”

“I love the way we won. It was a team effort. Felt good to be in that locker room right and get that break. To look around and to having that winning smile on their faces,” said head coach Mike Hohensee, following the game. “I thought we executed well, we worked hard this week, we understood we knew we had to put points on the board, as Jacksonville is an explosive team. The defense gave us some extra possessions tonight and the offense took care of the football.”  

The Thunder opened the scoring through a four yard touchdown run from FB John Martinez, causing the crowd at Moda Center to unleash the snowing of nearly 6,000 teddy bears onto the field all while taking 7-0 lead. On the ensuing Sharks drive, starting at their own two-yard line, FB Derrick Ross was hard to stop. The AFL’s all-time leading rusher ran for 21 yards on the drive, resulting in a score to tie the game.

 

Timbers roar again

Stoppage-time goal beats San Jose 1-0 for record win
July 5, 2015

PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers will not be denied on their home field.

Midfielder Jack Jewsbury registered the game-winning goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time and the Timbers tied an MLS-club record with their fifth consecutive home win, 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans on Sunday night at Providence Park.

The Timbers (9-6-4, 31 points) outshot San Jose (7-6-4, 25 points) 23-7, including 7-2 on goal, while earning their fifth consecutive home win at Providence Park since May 27.

The five-game streak equals the team’s streak of five straight home wins from April 14-May 21, 2011, the team’s first five home matches in the inaugural MLS season in 2011.

In stoppage time, midfielder Diego Valeri delivered a free kick from the left edge of the penalty box that found midfielder Gastón Fernández in front of goal. Fernández’s first touch popped the ball into the air on the left side of the goal and Jewsbury was in position to loft a left-footed effort over goalkeeper David Bingham from a tight angle for the winning goal. The win marked Portland’s sixth victory in their last seven regular-season matches and moved the side to within one point of the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

Controlling the flow of the match, the Timbers maintained 61 percent of the possession, while completing 85 percent of their 454 total pass attempts – compared to San Jose’s 70 percent passing accuracy on 291 attempts. For a second consecutive match, Portland attempted more than 20 shots as Valeri finished with a team-high six attempts, including three shots on goal. Defensively, the Timbers registered their eighth clean sheet of the season, and fifth shutout in their last six home games at Providence Park. Portland has conceded just one goal at home since May 2.

Looking for the early opening goal, defender Jorge Villafaña had a low drive parried away by Bingham in the 19th minute and Valeri saw a well-struck volley from distance smothered in the 27th minute. Nearing the end of the first half, Valeri got in behind the San Jose defense and put a shot into the back of the net, but the goal was called back as Valeri was in an offside position when he received the initial pass. Moments later, midfielder Will Johnson fired a long-range shot just wide of the right post.

As Portland pushed for the late game-winner, defender Norberto Paparatto delivered a solid header on goal off a corner kick, only to see Bingham catch the attempt in the 81st minute. With three minutes remaining in regulation, the Timbers appeared to have tallied the game-winning goal as Fernández deposited a header into the back of the net off a pinpoint cross from defender Alvas Powell, but the goal was disallowed as Fernández was judged to be offside.

Next up, the Timbers take to the road to face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, July 11, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.; kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Miller leads Oregon sweep

Hillsboro, Eugene and Salem-Keizer all post wins Monday
June 29, 2015

Jared Miller, a second-year pro from Vanderbilt University, threw eight scoreless innings for the Hillsboro Hops against the Vancouver Canadians Monday, in a 7-0 win, ending the team’s three-game losing streak.

Miller’s outing, whih lowered his ERA to 0.90, was one of three wins by Oregon teams Monday. Eugene beat Tri-City 5-4, and Salem-Keizer beat Spokane 7-5.

Hillsboro and Eugene remained atop the Northwest League’s Southern Division standings at 6-6, with Salem-Keizer and Boise just a game back at 5-7.

Hops batters --- and shaky Vancouver defense --- gave Miller all he would need before he ever took the mound. Zach Nehrir led off the game with an infield hit, and one out later, Luis Veras singled to left. Hops manager Shelley Duncan rolled the dice on a double-steal, and Trevor Mitsui pulled a shot to third. Vancouver third baseman Ryan Metzler, in his haste to beat Nehrir to the third-base bag, let the ball go under his glove for an error. Two runs scored on the play, and Mitsui later scored on a Dane McFarland sacrifice fly.

Hillsboro added three more in the third. Veras pulled one directly over the left-field foul pole for his first home run. Mitsui reached base on another error, then scored on McFarland’s double to left-center. A balk sent McFarland to third, and he scored on the second of Alexis Olmeda’s three singles.

Nehrir capped the scoring with an RBI single in the sixth.

Right-hander Ryan Burr worked a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two, to finish the game. The Hops (6-6) remain in a first-place tie in the South Division.

The five-game series concludes at 7:05 PM on Tuesday night. Hillsboro comes home to face Eugene for a three-game set Wednesday-Friday, July 1-3, all games at 7:05.

Oregon gest mashed on opening day

June 19, 2015

It was a tough Opening Day for Oregon's three Northwest League baseball teams - they all lost.

Hits and errors were the mark of the day - hits for the other team and errors by themselves.

Eugene lost 6-1 at Everett, Hillsboro lost 6-5 at Spokane and Salem-Keizer lost 11-2 at home to Vancouver, B.C. Overall, the three teams were outscored 17-8, outhit 35-17 and commited a combined eight errors.

In spite of getting outhit 12-6, Hillsboro narrowly missed extra innings by giving up a run with two outs in the ninth inning of its loss.

Tonight they get a second shot at their first win - each team playing the second game of a four-game series.

 

 

Thorns finally find a win

Second half offense, late Betos save keys 2-1 win
July 3, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND - It took another late-game heroic from goalkeeper Michelle Betos, but the result was a win - finally - for the Portland Thorns Friday night at Providence Park.

A pair of second-half goals gave the team a 2-1 lead when visiting Sky Blue FC earned a free kick just outside the penalty box nearing the close of seven minutes of extra time. The resulting kick headed for the upper right corner for the tying goal, except Betos got a hand on the ball and pushed it over the crossbar.

That saved the win for the Thorns, who hadn't scored two goals in a game since May 9, and hadn't won since April 18.

Allie Long and Sinead Farrelly scored for the Thorns, improved to 3-3-4, 13 points in the NWSL standings heading into a rematch with Sky Blue July 11 in New Jersey.

Sky Blue dropped to 1-6-4, 7 points.

The save by Betos came two weeks after she scored in the final seconds of extra time to give Portland a 1-all draw with Kansas City, a play that earned her the league's Player of the Week honor. The score by Betos was set-up by a cross from Long, who earned her own distinction Friday night - becoming the team's all-time leading scorer.

Long drove home a penalty kick in the 70th minute, which tied the game and also gave the team a player advantage as Sky Blue defender Cami Levin was given a red card for the initial foul on Long. With the goal, she moved ahead of Christine Sinclair with 17 goals in her three seasons with the team.

Farrelly, who has played every minute of every game this season, found the back of the net in the 79th minute off a cross by Alyssa Kleiner. It was her second goal of the season.

Timbers primed for 'Earth' Week

Portland heads to San Jose for U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal
June 30, 2015

The Portland Timbers - on fire like parts of the West - head to San Jose Wednesday for a quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open Cup with a goal to keep their current streak alive and headed toward a first for the team - a national championship.

Portland has won five of its last six MLS contests, including a franchise record four consecutive games, and six of its last seven including a Cup victory in Seattle two weeks ago. Wednesday they play the Earthquakes in their new stadium.

A win Wednesday would put the Timbers in the Cup semifinals for the second time in three seasons. Portland has never reached the final, and has played for a national title only once - during their inaugural season when they lost in the NASL Championship game.

The match is the first of two with San Jose in five days. The teams play at Providence Park Sunday with the game televised by ESPN2.

Portland (8-6-4, 28 points) moved up to within a win of passing second-place Seattle in the Western Conference following a 4-1 thrashing of the Sounders Sunday. The win moved the Timbers up to No. 4 in the MLS Power Rankings Monday, up from sixth a week ago.

San Jose (7-5-4, 25 points) sits just out of a playoff spot in seventh place, but is just a win from tying the Timbers, and has played two fewer matches.

The Timbers are hot all over the nation, too. On mlssoccer.com, the league's website, comments about Sunday's win over Seattle were more than double of those from the New York battle between the Red Bulls and rival NY City FC.

 

 

Thunder fall in final second

Las Vegas converts a late turnover into a 48-46 win on final play
June 28, 2015

LAS VEGAS – Portland Thunder fullback John Martinez had a career game, scoring four rushing touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a last second, 48-46, loss to the Las Vegas Outlaws in an Arena Football League game at the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

Las Vegas back-up QB Dennis Havrilla scored from one-yard out on the game’s final play.

Portland dropped to 3-10 on the season.

With a 1st & Goal from the Thunder (3-10, 1-3) one yard line, and only :03 seconds left on the clock, Havrilla, who was starting his first game of the season, replacing Las Vegas’ injured starter JJ Raterink, took a keeper in through two of his linemen to provide the Outlaws (5-8, 3-1) with the last second win.

Martinez, who came into the night with six rushing touchdowns on the year, ran seven times, for nine yards, and those four scores.

The last minute Outlaws drive was set up in a puzzling fashion. An interception at the 1:00 minute warning from former Outlaw DB Dwight McLean provided the Thunder with an opportunity to close out the game on offense. Two plays later, on their own 12 yard line, with :49 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, fed Martinez the ball to help run down the clock. A two-yard rush by the former USC Trojan ensued, with the ball coming loose at the end of the play.

Ruled down by contact, the play was reviewed by officials for over four minutes, eventually ending with the call on the field being overturned, and setting Las Vegas up for the winning drive.

“It was only controversial because we made it controversial,” head coach Mike Hohensee stated, when asked about reversal. “We had a chance to put this one away, and we didn’t execute.”

The Thunder have a bye this week, before returning to Moda Center on July 11th against the Jacksonville Sharks.

 

 

 

Timbers keep magic going

Portland hammers Houston 2-0 for fourth-straight win
June 20, 2015

PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers extended their MLS regular-season winning streak to four consecutive games and tallied a fourth straight home shutout as forward Maximiliano Urruti and midfielder Gastón Fernández contributed goals in a 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park.

Portland’s four-game winning streak is tied for the longest winning streak in MLS so far this season. In all competitions, the Timbers have compiled a five-game winning streak, including a 3-1 win after extra time against Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 16. Additionally, Portland’s seven wins this season rank as the most total wins for the club through 16 games since joining MLS in 2011.

Saturday’s shutout marked Portland’s seventh of the season as the club extended its streak without conceding a goal at Providence Park to 365 consecutive minutes. The Timbers have registered four straight home shutouts, dating back to May 2 in a scoreless draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Urruti put the Timbers (7-5-4, 25 points) on the board in the 34th minute, converting a perfectly placed cross off a free kick from defender Jorge Villafaña with a well-struck header past Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric. The goal marked Urruti’s third of the season, and his third goal in five games in all competitions since May 27 as he also tallied a goal in the U.S. Open Cup win.

Villafaña’s assist, his third of the season, put him into a tie for the team lead with midfielder Rodney Wallace. The defender has tallied an assist in consecutive league games, also providing the game-winning assist against New England on June 6.

Doubling Portland’s lead in the second half, Fernández converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute after Houston defender David Horst was called for a foul in the box during a corner kick in the 59th minute. Fernández has tallied a goal in two of the last three league games for the Timbers and finished with a team-high three shots on Saturday.

Portland kept Houston (5-6-5, 20 points) to just one shot on goal in the game, the fewest shots on goal the Timbers have conceded during a match this season. Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey moved into a tie for second overall in the league with his seventh clean sheet.

On a quick turnaround, the Timbers travel to face the LA Galaxy (6-7-5, 25 points) in a nationally televised midweek match on Wednesday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is set for 8 p.m.

The match will feature a live national broadcast on ESPN2.

Thorns get dramatic draw

Goalkeeper Betos scores in final seconds to thrill home fans
June 19, 2015

PORTLAND - Playing with only 10 players for the final 20 minutes, the Portland Thorns not only outscored visiting Kansas City, they did it in historic style.

Goalkeeper Michelle Betos scored a dramatic game-tying goal in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time to rally the Thorns to a 1-1 draw against Kansas City in front of 15,214 fans Friday evening at Providence Park.

Playing for the last-gasp equalizer, Betos pushed up into the penalty box for a corner kick and headed home the cross from midfielder Allie Long, sparking a celebration from the team's fifth largest crowd in its three year history.

"Allie played the ball in and I just tried to get it on goal and it happened to go in," Betos said afterward. "I don’t think I was marked very well. I probably wouldn’t have marked me either so I can’t blame them for that."

Just moments before the final corner-kick sequence, Betos made a critical save as second-half substitute Caroline Kastor got in behind the Thorns backline and was one-on-one with Betos, who made a diving kick save on the shot attempt.

The goal was the first by a goalkeeper in National Women’s Soccer League history and the latest goal scored in a regular-season match by a Thorns player since the team’s inaugural season in 2013.

The Thorns improved to 2-3-4, 10 points on the season, but still have not won a game in more than a month.

After a scoreless first half, FC Kansas City (3-4-2, 11 points) took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute as midfielder Jen Buczkowski served a well-placed free kick towards the penalty spot and forward Sarah Hagen beat Betos to the spot, heading the ball into the back of the net.

Portland outshot FC Kansas City 8-5 in the second half, and 13-8 in the match, seeing several closes chances just miss in the final 45 minutes. Defender Kat Williamson’s header off a corner kick in the 49th minute was just over the crossbar. Second half-substitute Alyssa Kleiner had two close chances, including a half volley in the 69th minute that was cleared away near the goal line by an FC Kansas City player.

Betos finished the match with four saves as Thorns FC limited their opponents to single-digit shot attempts for the sixth time in nine matches this season, improving to 2-1-2 at Providence Park this season and 6-1-3 in their last 10 games at home.

Portland returns to action on July 3, playing host to Sky Blue FC at Providence Park.

Thorns can use a boost

Portland hasn't won in a month heading into home match
June 19, 2015

In spite of having one of the top rosters in women's club soccer, the Portland Thorns are mired in the thrill of the World Cup.

Having a top roster has been a challenge for the team as its top players have been called up to national team duty, and are central figures on each of their squads as they play against one another in group action that began Friday.

Christine Sinclair, Nadine Angerer, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan - all gone from the Thorns' roster. In their place, Portland has resorted to a relatively untested squad, including amatuer players in a number of matches.

The result has been a winless streak that began April 25 with a 2-all draw at Chicago. The following five matches included two draws and three losses, and the team has scored just one goal in its past four matches. With the results, the Thorns sit in eighth place in the nine-team National Women's Soccer League after eight of their 20-game regular season.

The good news for Thorns fans is the team sits just two points out of third place, and they have outshot opponents in most of their matches.

Portland (2-3-3, 9 points) plays host to Kansas City (2-4-1, 10 points) tonight at Providence Park.

The Thorns' last win came April 18 at home against Western New York, and the team is 2-1-0 in home matches. Three of their next four matches are at home.

 

 

 

 

Hops ready for title defense

Northwest League opens June 18
June 10, 2015

The excitement of the 2015 Northwest League baseball season continues with just a week left before the season begins.

The defending Class A Northwest League champion Hillsboro Hops begin their 2015 season on the road, with five games at Spokane starting June 18. Their home opener is set for June 23 against Salem-Keizer.

Salem-Keizer begins its season at home against Vancouver, June 18.

The Eugene Emeralds open their season June 18 at Everett, Wash., and their home schedule against Boise, June 23.

Hillsboro, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, won the NWL title with a two-game sweep of Vancouver after finishing the regular season at 48-28.

Salem-Keizer, affiliated with the San Francisco Giants, went 38-38 during the regular season.

Eugene, affiliated with the San Diego Padres, finished at 30-46.

 

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