The Seattle Reign challenged the Portland Thorns tonight on the Starfire Sports Stadium pitch. Although the two teams are at different ends of league standings, anything can happen in rivalry games.
Seattle has suffered badly from injuries and cards. Their defense has been crippled with three of their defenders unable to play. However, tonight, Hope Solo made her return and started in goal for the first time this season.
In just the 2nd minute, Tiffany Cameron, forward for the Reign, ripped in a shot but it was pushed wide by the Thorns’ goalkeeper. The home stands were thunderous. In the 21st minute, Kaylyn Kyle, almost put in a header for the Reign but it was a bit too high and sailed over the bar.
In the 33rd minute, Portland Thorns’ Meleana Shim ripped a shot from about 20 yards out, but it went just wide. The last chance of the half came off of a corner kick for the Thorns in the 44th minute. Christine Sinclair rose above everyone else and connected with a header, but the ball went over the bar and fell on the back side of the net. There were no real scares for Hope Solo in the first 45 minutes. The teams went into half time 0-0.
The second half opened up with some intense play from both teams. The first scoring chance of the half came in the 52nd minute. Christine Sinclair, Thorns’ forward, hit a low, driven ball across the 18-yard box to Melean Shim, but it was deflected just wide of the goal frame by a Reign defender. The next piece of action happened in the 61st minute when Christine Nairn, midfielder for the Reign, hit in a nice header forcing an amazing save from the Portland keeper. Directly after, Teresa Noyola, midfielder for the Reign, whipped in a nice shot that demanded another good save from Portland’s Karina LeBlanc. The crowd and atmosphere was growing with tension as time as the Reign got closer to a goal. In the 75th minute Seattle saw their best goal scoring opportunity of the night. Liz Bogus dribbled to the center of the 18-yard box and hit in a low, left-footed shot that bounced off of the post and out for a corner kick.
In the 82nd minute, Reign defender, Kaylyn Kyle, got called for a questionable foul inside of her own penalty box. The pointed to the penalty spot and the crowd erupted in disbelief. Christine Sinclair stepped up and put it into the left corner very calmly. There was nothing Hope Solo could do to stop it. This put the Portland Thorns up 1-0 and the game score would stay that way until time expired.
It was another frustrating loss for the Seattle Reign, but they can not be disappointed with a performance like that. The Portland Thorns lead the league for a reason. The Reign’s defense, as beat up as they may be, held their own against the Portland Thorns and their star player, Alex Morgan.
The Seattle Reign FC take on the Haiti National Soccer Team on June 2nd in their next home match here at Starfire. Find the Reign’s schedule and other team information here.