Penalty kicks are one of the most intense moments in all of soccer.
Added to the intensity is when advancement for a championship is on the line.
That’s exactly what Portland Thorns FC experienced in their win against the Houston Dash in the semifinals of the Women’s International Championship Cup Wednesday night.
The Thorns came from behind in the second half courtesy of goals from Natalia Kuikka and Olivia Moultrie, which evened up the score 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Then comes the pressure.
Thorns goalkeeper Shelby Hogan, making her professional debut, came in and was near perfect on her defense, making three saves in the process, while Meghan Klingenberg, Moultrie, and Simone Charley scored on their attempts.
The regulation goal by Moultrie was her first professional goal of her young career.
The 15-year old phenom filed a lawsuit against the National Women's Soccer League in May arguing that the leagues requirement to be 18 years old to play “violates antitrust law, harms her development as a soccer player and delays the likelihood of her being invited to play on the U.S. Women’s National Team or an Olympic team.”
She would eventually go on to reach a settlement with the league and become the youngest player to appear in a league match when she made her debut on July 3 against Racing Louisville.
With the win, the Thorns will face Olympique Lyonnais Saturday at 7 pm PT in the WICC championship game.