Stout Reign FC defense keeps Chicago off board in scoreless draw

By Joe Veyera

For 15 consecutive league home matchups, Seattle Reign FC stayed out of the loss column, going 11–0–4 since moving to Memorial Stadium for the 2014 campaign.

On Saturday night, the team guaranteed the streak would live on for at least another seven days, while doing something no other NWSL side had done all season.

With a 0–0 tie against the Chicago Red Stars on the Moda Pitch in front of a crowd of 2,367, Reign FC became the first side to hold the now 4–0–3 Red Stars off the scoreboard in seven league games this season.

Entering the night, Chicago had lead the league in goals scored, and continues to hold the best goal differential in the NWSL, while Seattle had yet to post a shutout.

“That’s huge for us,” defender Elli Reed said of the clean sheet. “As a defensive unit, as a team as a whole, we’re happy with that.”

Reed was influential in maintaining said shutout, as the defender cleared Chicago’s best chance off the line in the 20th minute.

Head coach Laura Harvey said holding the Red Stars scoreless was the biggest positive she could take away from the result.

“I think we handled their threat well,” Harvey said. “They’re a threat because they have pace and then they’re a threat on set piece and I thought we did well against that.”

While goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer and the Seattle backline held firm throughout the night, Reign FC also kept the pressure on the Chicago defense.

There was no shortage of chances for Seattle in the first half, including an impressive show of control by forward Beverly Yanez in the 29th minute. Defended closely in the box, Yanez flicked the ball up and leveled a volley that went just wide of the net.

In the second half, the pressure continued as Reign FC outshot Chicago 8–3. Forward Merritt Mathias had the team’s best chance of the night, hitting a shot off the crossbar in the 76th minute.

For midfielder Amber Brooks, who made her second NWSL start of the season, it felt good to play a full 90 minutes, but the result gives the team something to work toward.

“Obviously, I would have been happier with three points, but a point against a still undefeated team, and a shutout at home, that’s still a good feeling,” Brooks said.

Next Saturday, Reign FC will again take to the Moda Pitch for a matchup with Sky Blue FC at 7 p.m., as they try to keep the good feelings going, and further extend the unbeaten streak.

Match Report

Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: May 30, 2015
Venue: Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium (Seattle, Wash.)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT

Scoring Summary

Misconduct Summary
— Merritt Mathias (Caution), 90'+
CHI — Daniele Colaprico (Caution) 61'

Lineups & Stats
GK Haley Kopmeyer, D Elli Reed (D Rachel Corsie, 77'), D Kendall Fletcher, D Lauren Barnes, D Stephanie Cox, M Keelin Winters, M Amber Brooks, M Kim Little, F Danielle Foxhoven (F Mariah Nogueria, 71'), F Beverly Yanez, F Merritt Mathias

CHI: GK Michele Dalton, D Arin Gilliland, D Samantha Johnson, D Michelle Lomnicki, D Taryn Hemmings, D Rachel Quon, M Daniele Colaprico, M Vanessa DiBernardo, M Alyssa Mautz (M Mary Luba, 83'), F Jennifer Hoy (F Cara Walls, 40'), F Sofia Huerta

Referee: Brandon Artis
Assistant Referee: Jennifer Garner, J.J. Blodgett
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street

Stats Summary
13-SEA, 8-CHI
Shots on goal: 7-SEA, 4-CHI
Saves: 4-SEA, 7-CHI
Corner kicks: 6-SEA, 4-CHI
Fouls: 9-SEA, 13,CHI
Offside: 2-SEA, 2-CHI
Attendance: 2,367