The Portland Pilots women's soccer team continued their spring season Friday by defeating the Canadian U-20 national team 4-0. The first half ended with no score after both teams had decent spells of possession. Towards the end of the half Portland had a corner kick that led to three shots at the goal but couldn't score. It appeared that the Pilots were ready to break through in the second.
In the 51st minute Kayla Cameli got free down the left side. She picked out Micaela Capelle with a through ball to the edge of the penalty area. Capelle rounded the Canada goalkeeper for an easy finish. In the 64th Capelle took the ball down the goal line and sent in a cross for Ellen Parker, who was unmarked at the near post and tapped in from six yards to make the score 2-0. In the 73rd Parker provided an assist for Cameli, who put in a shot underneath the keeper for Portland's third, and Capelle closed the scoring in the 84th by scoring from a very tight angle after running into the penalty area from a wide position.
Beyond the score there were a lot of things for Portland fans to be happy about. The Pilots looked strong at every position, as they should be with so many key players returning. The center back pairing of Lorielle McCluskie and Sarah Bindl were very strong and I would love to see them as the starters in the fall. They and the rest of the defense looks to have made great strides since last season. In midfield the Pilots have the speed and skill for which they're so well known. Ellen Parker was great in the center of the field Friday and should be very dangerous. The forwards haven't missed a beat either, and Micaela Capelle and Amanda Frisbie are both seniors and both are excellent finishers.
It was nice to see the Pilots back on the field, and very nice to see they should be one of the top college teams around in the fall. Saturday night they'll get a chance to take on some of the world's best as they take on the Thorns in an exhibition at Merlo Field.