The Seattle Reign returned to Starfire Stadium Sunday night to continue their unbeaten streak of five games. The match would be televised live, the first for the league, on Fox Soccer. In anticipation for the game, tickets sold out with over 3000 fans in attendance. With the sun shining and a full stadium the Reign came ready to play.
The Washington Spirit entered the pitch with high intensity and dominated the first five minutes of play peppering Hope Solo with shots. In the 9th minute the Reign made an attacking run forward and earned the team a corner kick. Megan Rapinoe placed a lovely corner low and to the near post where the Spirit defender had to clear the ball out and denied Seattle of a goal. A short few minutes later there was a collision in the Reign penalty box and the referee awarded the Spirit a penalty kick. The Spirit converted and took the lead 1-0. In the 25th minute the Reign scored a lovely goal off a through pass from Fishlock, but they were unfortunately offsides and the goal was revoked. In the 30th minute Jessica McDonald fought for the ball, took a shot, and got a deflection off a defender for an own goal. McDonald was given credit for the goal and the Reign was back in the game! In the minutes following the first goal the Reign had found confidence and rhythm and they were putting a lot of pressure on the Spirit defense. In the 33rd minute Jessica McDonald again found the net off a header from Harris. With a 2-1 lead the Reign looked to keep possession of the ball and they did so magnificently. The Reign would go into half time with a 2-1 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half the Reign had a few chances to score but the Spirit defense was able to clear the ball off the goal line to keep the game within reach. In the 57th minute Kaitlyn Kyle went up for a header and collided heads with Spirit Keeper Ali Kreiger. Both were able to stand up and walk off, but Krieger was later checked for concussions as it was a tough collision. With back and forth possession between both teams the scoring opportunities were equal amongst each other. In the 66th minute Rapinoe was able to find a small amount of space a rip a shot that just went wide of the upper right corner. The Spirit did not test Solo with any overly difficult saves in the second half and the entire team was able to preserve the 2-1 lead. The game would end in favor of the Reign and they would continue their winning streak in hopes of making the playoffs.
The Reign will travel to Kansas City this week for a mathc on Saturday July 20 against FC Kansas City. Check out the website for more details about how to follow the match live!