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Monday, April 22, 2013
Alex Morgan, Portland a hit in home debut


Alex Morgan's goal in the 52nd minute held up as the game-winner as the Portland Thorns topped the Seattle Reign 2-1 in front of 16,479 fans Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore.

It was the Thorns' inaugural home game with the National Women's Soccer League, and the attendance topped any single-game crowd in the three-year run of the NWSL's predecessor, Women's Professional Soccer, which existed from 2009 to 2011.

Portland took a 1-0 halftime lead on defender Marian Dougherty's header in the 45th minute. Coming off a free kick by midfielder Nikki Washington, Dougherty's header beat Seattle keeper Michelle Betos inside the far post.

Morgan, the young star of the U.S. women's national team and the London Olympics, took a feed from Canadian star Christine Sinclair and used her left foot to put it past Betos. Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc lost the shutout when Seattle's Jessica Fishlock scored in the 74th minute.

Portland outshot Seattle 11-7, 5-2 on goal. Thorns is unbeaten after tying FC Kansas City in its opener last week. Reign tied Chicago in its first match and is 0-1-1.