It was a big night for Portland Thorns defender Reyna Reyes.
During Friday night’s NWSL battle between the Portland Thorns and San Diego Wave, the rookie played her first full 90 minutes and then — in the 90th minute — scored her first ever pro goal.
“When it went in, I didn’t even believe it,” Reyes said of her header goal, which secured a 1-1 draw for Portland in front of 18,130 fans at Snapdragon Stadium.
Reyes, who was drafted fifth overall by the Thorns in the 2023 NWSL Draft, said she normally hangs further back during corner kicks. But when she heard Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby yelling at players get in the box, “I was like, this could be it, who knows!”
The Alabama alum got the start on Friday after Thorns teammate Meghan Klingenberg was sidelined with a thigh injury.
“Reyna stepped in terrifically well, didn’t look out of place, in possession or out of possession,” said Thorns head coach Mike Norris. “I thought she brought out her identity and who she is. Obviously a massive a goal, but her first pro 90 minutes is a huge step and was a good 90 at that.”
San Diego’s goal also came in the closing moments of the game, with Sofia Jakobsson finding the back of the net in the 86th minute.
Reyna Reyes, have yourself a header!! Her first NWSL goal is an important one for the Thorns pic.twitter.com/c3BFWt9QWR— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) May 27, 2023
Reyna Reyes, have yourself a header!! Her first NWSL goal is an important one for the Thorns pic.twitter.com/c3BFWt9QWR