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Olivia Moultrie scores, Thorns beat Dash to advance to WICC final


Olivia Moultrie is officially on the board.

The 15-year-old scored her first professional goal on a free kick Wednesday night in a Women’s International Champions Cup game against the Houston Dash. Her goal in the 57th minute drew the Thorns even with the Dash, 2-2.

Portland went on to defeat Houston 3-1 on penalty kicks to advance to the final, where they will play Lyon on Saturday after the reigning WICC champions defeated Barcelona in the first game Wednesday.

Moultrie has yet to score her first NWSL goal, however, because the game was not a part of league play.

In May, Moultrie filed a lawsuit against the NWSL, arguing that the league’s rule prohibiting players under 18 from competing violated antitrust law. The league recently reached a settlement with Moultrie, allowing her to continue to play with the Thorns. In July, Moultrie became the youngest player to appear in a league match when she made her NWSL debut against Racing Louisville on July 3.

Goalkeeper Shelby Hogan, making her professional debut with the Thorns on Wednesday, made three saves during the shootout and forward Simone Charley buried her attempt to secure the win for Portland.

The Dash took a 2-0 lead behind Shea Groom’s goals in the 17th and 41st minutes. Midfielder Natalia Kuikka started the Thorns’ comeback with a goal in the 51st minute, before Moultrie tied the game six minutes later.

“I’m just so glad it went in, because all I cared about was winning the game, and for us moving on to the next match. And that’s what we did,” Moultrie told reporters afterward. “So I couldn’t be more happy.”