Reign FC cruises to a 3–0 victory over the Dash behind a Little hat-trick
Honestly, we are still in awe at what we just witnessed.
Reign FC put in a solid performance on all ends of a very wet pitch in Houston, Texas on Friday night. And then Kim Little did some Kim Little things and by the final whistle, the midfielder had herself a nifty hat-trick.
After the match was delayed an hour due to thunderstorms (which we had nothing to do with, pun-friendly name aside), both sides worked to adjust to the pitch as passes quickly lost momentum in the puddles of water.
The Dash saw the first chance of the match in the 8th minute as midfielder Carli Lloyd found space, and fed a through ball to forward Jessica McDonald. McDonald managed to get a shot off but it sailed over the intended target.
The Dash kept the pressure on with back-to-back chances in the 16th minute. Defender Meghan Klingenberg moved the ball down the flank before sending a cross in for McDonald, whose header was deflected wide. A minute later, midfielder Morgan Brian worked a give-and-go with Kealia Ohai that put Ohai behind Reign FC’s backline. Ohai’s shot was on target but sent right to goalkeeper Hope Solo who made the easy save.
Reign FC saw its first chance in the 22nd minute as Little created space for herself just inside the 18-yard box before sending a cross over to Yanez at the back post who put her header just over the bar.
Despite both sides sharing possession, Reign FC would get on the board first. In the 42nd minute, defender Lauren Barnes played a perfect ball over the top of the Dash backline. Little ran onto the pass and carried it into the box before finishing it over goalkeeper Erin McLeod to give the visitors a 1–0 lead.
Following the half, Reign FC amped up its pressure before finding a breakthrough in the 73rd minute. Little gathered a pass at the top of the 18-yard box, cutting to the outside before sending her shot across goal and into the net to double the lead.
The Dash’s best chance to pull one back came in the 78th minute as Lloyd found herself on the outside of the 18-yard box with some space. Her shot, however, was right to Solo who was able to bat the ball down before diving on top of it.
In the final minute of regulation, Little collected the ball just inside the 18-yard box before turning past four Dash players and sending her shot over a scrambling McLeod to complete her hat-trick and solidify Reign FC’s 3–0 victory.
Little’s hat-trick moves her season goal tally to nine, and she is now tied with teammate Beverly Yanez for most on the team and second in the league.
On the defensive end, Solo made two saves on the night. She now has three wins in five matches this season.
With the win, Seattle remains at the top of the league standings with 36 points, eight points ahead of the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars.
Reign FC moves one step closer to securing home-field advantage in the post-season. A Chicago Red Stars loss to Western New York Flash on Sunday would mean a Reign FC would host one of the two semi-final matches.
Reign FC now heads back to Seattle for its final two regular season home matches. First up is the third and final contest with the Boston Breakers on Wednesday, August 26 before facing Sky Blue FC for the final time on Saturday, August 29.
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
Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. Houston Dash
Date: August 21, 2015
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Tx.)
Kickoff: 5 p.m. PT
SEA — Kim Little (Barnes) 42'
SEA — Kim Little 74'
SEA — Kim Little 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 (Mariah Bullock, 83), F Beverly Yanez (Katrine Veje, 36'), F Megan Rapinoe (Elli Reed, 79)
Substitutes not used: Kopmeyer, Cruz, Foxhoven, Brooks
HOU: GK Erin McLeod, D Toni Pressley, D Ellie Brush, D Meghan Klingenberg, D Jen LaPonte (Allysha Chapman, 64), M Andressa, M Morgan Brian (Melissa Henderson, 46), M Carli Lloyd, M Kealia Ohai, M Rachael Axon, F Jessica McDonald (Camila, 74)
Substitutes not used: Bianca Henninger, Jordan Jackson, Tiffany McCarty
Referee: Matthew Kreitzer
Assistant Referee: Arienne McDonald, Christian Gordon
Fourth Official: Christina Hutchinson
Shots: SEA- 16, HOU- 13
Shots on goal: SEA- 7, HOU- 2
Saves: SEA- 2, HOU- 4
Corner kicks: SEA- 5, HOU- 5
Fouls: SEA- 8, HOU- 6
Offsides: SEA-4, HOU -7