The countdown to the first whistle of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada has hit the two-week mark.
But on Friday night, Seattle got an early look at one of the 24 national teams competing to take home the title first-hand.
While the 1–1 draw against the China PR Women’s National Team on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium won’t advance Reign FC in the NWSL standings, the result still has meaning for head coach Laura Harvey.
“It was a fantastic test,” Harvey said. “It was a great outcome for us because we didn’t win it — we didn’t have enough shots on goal to win it — but we definitely dominated the game.”
After a scoreless first 30 minutes of action, China PR notched the opening goal of the night on a deep ball from 30 yards out by Ren Guixin that skipped by a scrum in front of the net past goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.
However, Harvey noted that her team’s performance prior to the score was the best she’s seen this season.
“I thought that was the best performance we put on,” Harvey said. “We haven’t played like that this year, in my opinion.”
That included strong outings from Scottish international defender Rachel Corsie, midfielder Amber Brooks, and forward Danielle Foxhoven.
China PR would take that one goal advantage into the half, but the lead would be brief out of the break. In the 48th minute, Scottish international Kim Little’s free kick from outside the box connected with the head of forward Beverly Yanez for the equalizer.
Despite several late game opportunities — including a shot from forward Kiersten Dallstream that went just wide in the 85th minute — the score would remain knotted at one the rest of the night.
For Kopmeyer, who played the full 90 in the net, the matchup served as an opportunity to prove something about how Reign FC stacks up with the world’s best.
“I think that games like these, you really do have something you can go out and prove. Things will happen over the course of the season that kind of ebb and flow … but I think with a game like this you get one shot to go out and prove that you can compete with the best players in the world. I think we all kind of had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.”
Now, Seattle will try to carry that chip into next weekend’s matchup with the Chicago Red Stars as Reign FC returns to NWSL action after a three-week reprieve. That game is set for a 7 p.m. start on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium and tickets are still available at ReignFC.com.
Photos by Jane G. Photography