Reign FC clinches playoff spot with 2–1 win over the Dash

Photo by Jane G. Photography

Well, that was truly a beautiful Seattle night.

Reign FC became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 2–1 win over the Houston Dash in front of a beautiful crowd of 6,021 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.

With the win, Reign FC extended its league winning streak and extended a home winning streak to 21 matches, which dates back to the start of the 2014 season.

Photos by Catie Bergman Photography

Forward Merritt Mathias and defender Rachel Corsie each tallied goals in the victory as Reign FC grabbed its 10th win of the 2015 campaign. Seattle now sits at the top of the league standings with 33 points, five points ahead of second place Chicago Red Stars.

Both sides shared possession early on with Reign FC having the first dangerous attempt on goal. In the 10th minute, Little carried the ball into the 18 before firing a low shot that looked destined for goal. Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod dove low to her right to push the shot wide with her finger tips.

Despite the promising look, Reign FC conceded the first goal of the match five minutes later. Against the run of play, forward Kealia Ohai collected a deflected cross just inside the 18 and fired a low shot past goalkeeper Hope Solo to give the Dash a 1–0 lead.

Photo by Jane G. Photography

With the cheering crowd behind them, Seattle settled into the match more with each passing moment.

Photo by Catie Bergman Photography

Megan Rapinoe gathered a ball near the half-way line in the 22nd moment and spotted forward Merritt Mathias making a diagonal run. Rapinoe slotted a perfect through ball for that Mathias tapped around McLeod at the top of the box and finished her shot into the empty net to bring Reign FC level at 1–1.

Following the half, Seattle maintained its heavy pressure to find another goal, and peppered the Dash with a total of eight shots through the final 45 minutes of play.

In the 53rd minute, Reign FC earned a slew of corners, including one that fell to Corsie at the back post that Dash defender Meghan Klingenberg saved off the line.

Photo by Catie Bergman Photography

Six minutes later, Corsie’s persistence at the back post paid off. Another corner kick found its way to the Scottish international who headed the ball past McLeod to give Reign FC a 2–1 lead.

Despite some late runs by the Dash that saw midfielder Carli Lloyd higher up the pitch, Reign FC held on for the win.

Mathias and Corsie each earned their second goals of the 2015 campaign while Rapinoe and Cox registered their fourth and second assists, respectively.

“I thought we definitely got better as the game went on,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Merritt has been great since she came back from her injury and I was pleased for her that she got a goal.”

On the defensive end, Solo made her first start for Reign FC since April after spending the past month recovering from a knee injury sustained in Canada during the Women’s World Cup. Solo made four saves on the night.

Wednesday’s game was the first of two regular season matchups between Reign FC and the Dash. The two sides will square off again on Friday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium. That match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.

To purchase ticket to an upcoming Reign FC match, visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for details on single match tickets. Seats start at $19. To catch the action away from Memorial Stadium, download the official, free Reign FC app here to watch every match live via YouTube. NWSL

#LetItReign

Match Report

Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. Houston Dash
Date: August 12, 2015
Venue: Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium (Seattle, Wash.)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Attendance: 6,021

Scoring Summary
HOU — Kealia Ohai 15'
SEA — Merritt Mathias (Rapinoe) 22'
SEA — Rachel Corsie (Cox) 59'

Misconduct Summary
HOU — Ella Masser (Caution) 70'
HOU — Ellie Brush (Caution) 90+

Lineups & Stats

SEA: GK Hope Solo, D Rachel Corsie, D Kendall Fletcher, D Lauren Barnes, D Stephanie Cox, M Keelin Winters, M Jessica Fishlock, M Kim Little, F Merritt Mathias (Elli Reed, 84), F Beverly Yanez (Amber Brooks, 87'), F Megan Rapinoe (Katrine Veje, 93+)

Substitutes not used: Stanley, Cruz, Foxhoven, Bullock

HOU: GK Erin McLeod, D Jazmyne Avant (Camila, 81), D Ellie Brush, D Meghan Klingenberg, M Andressa, M Morgan Brian, M Carli Lloyd, M Kealia Ohai, M Rachael Axon, F Jessica McDonald (Melissa Henderson, 68'), F Ella Masar

Substitutes not used: Bianca Henninger, Jen LaPonte, Jordan Jackson, Tiffany McCarty

Referee: Cedric Adams
Assistant Referee: Cameron Blanchard, Kelsey Harms
Fourth Official: Charles Spaniola

Stats Summary
Shots:
SEA- 12, HOU- 4
Shots on goal: SEA- 6, HOU- 3
Saves: SEA- 2, HOU- 4
Corner kicks: SEA- 5, HOU- 1
Fouls: SEA- 10, HOU- 8
Offsides: SEA-5, HOU -1