Reign FC defeats the Spirit 2–1 behind goals from Fishlock and Rapinoe
Reign FC traveled to that other Washington on Saturday evening and will head home with all three points. Seattle rounded out the 2015 regular season with a 2–1 win over the Washington Spirit in front of a crowd of 5,708 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
The win handed the Spirit their first home loss of the season as Reign FC midfielder Jessica Fishlock scored her eighth goal of the season while forward Megan Rapinoe tallied her fifth.
Seattle finished the 2015 regular season with a eight-match unbeaten run and a 13–3–4 record, topping the NWSL standings for a second consecutive season.
After finding its footing early, Reign FC opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Rapinoe found space down the left hand side before sending a cross in toward the center of the box. The Spirit were able to clear it away but only as far as Fishlock, who chested the ball before striking it on the volley, finishing past goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to give Seattle a 1–0 lead.
Constant pressure by the visitors would pay off as Reign FC doubled the lead just 10 minutes later. Rapinoe played a ball into the box that forward Merritt Mathias collected with her back to goal and it was poked away by defender Ali Krieger. Rapinoe took one touch before firing a shot from 23 yards out that sailed past Harris and into the side netting to give Seattle the 2–0 in the 25th minute.
The Spirit would cut the lead in half in the 36th minute after a foul was called on defender Lauren Barnes for a foul on midfielder Diana Matheson in the box. Matheson stepped up to the spot and fired her kick past goalkeeper Hope Solo to bring the score to 2–1.
The home side almost had the equalizer four minutes later when defender Crystal Dunn quickly turned into space and put her shot on target but Solo was there to tip it over the crossbar.
The second half saw possession sway between the two sides as the Spirit amped up its pressure.
Reign FC’s almost extended the lead in the 56th minute as Danish international Katrine Veje hit a shot with her left foot towards the back post that Harris acrobatically tipped over the crossbar.
The Spirit’s best chance to bring the game level came in the 64th minute. After a great passing sequence between Dunn and midfielder Christine Nairn on the right hand side, Dunn crossed the ball in for forward Francisca Ordega but her shot went just wide of goal.
While the home team did well to bottle up Reign FC’s attack for the remainder of the second half, the Seattle backline did well to stifle any further danger from the Spirit.
Reign FC outshot the Spirit 13-to-10, seven of which were on target compared to Washington’s three.
On the defensive end, Solo made two saves on the night and earned her fifth win of the season.
Saturday’s match was the third between Seattle and Washington during the regular season campaign. The two sides squared off twice earlier in the season with Reign FC emerging victorious in a 3–1 win on May 2 while the Spirit evened the score on July 18 with a 3–0 win at the SoccerPlex.
Reign FC will now host the Spirit in a Semi-Final rematch on September 13 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Tickets to that match can be purchased on Reign FC’s website at www.reignfc.com/semifinal.
Seattle Reign FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: September 5, 2015
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex (Boyds, MD)
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
SEA — Jessica Fishock 15', Megan Rapinoe 25'
WAS — Diana Matheson 37'
SEA — Katrine Veje 54' — Caution
SEA — Kim Little 77' — Caution
WAS — Estelle Johnson 80' — Caution
WAS — Hayley Raso 88' — Caution
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 (Kiersten Dallstream, 72), D Eli Reed (Mariah Bullock, 84), 80, F Megan Rapinoe (F Katrine Veje, 54)
Substitutes not used: Kopmeyer, Foxhoven, Cruz, Brooks
WAS: GK Ashlyn Harris, D Katherine Reynolds, D Oyster, D Church (F Ngozi Okobi, 84), D Ali Krieger, D Crystal Dunn, D Estelle Johnson, M Angela Salem (M Amanda Da Costa, 89), M Christine Nairn, M Diana Matheson, F Francisca Ordega (D Hayley Raso, 66)
Substitutes not used: Kelsey Wys, Josephine Chukwunonye, Hayley Raso, Amanda Da Costa, Joanna Lohman, Tori Huster, Ngozi Okobi
Referee: Brandon Artis
Assistant Referee: Michael Piercey, Adrienne McDonald
Fourth Official: Danielle Chesky
Shots: SEA- 13, WAS- 10
Shots on goal: SEA- 7, WAS- 3
Saves: SEA- 2, WAS- 5
Corner kicks: SEA- 6, WAS- 4
Fouls: SEA- 8, WAS- 8
Offsides: SEA- 3, WAS- 4