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Reign hold on to tie Flash in Rapinoe’s debut

Megan Rapinoe

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Abby Wambach made history on Thursday when she broke Mia Hamm’s international scoring record during the US women’s national team vs. Korea Republic match. Sunday, she made her Sahlen’s Stadium homecoming since breaking that record and the Western New York Flash tied Seattle Reign FC 1-1.

Wambach was recognized before the match started with a video montage of various goals she has scored over the years with the national team and it concluded with Joe Sahlen presenting her with flowers. When asked about what she thought about the homecoming reception in Rochester, Wambach said “It was amazing.”

“The fans in Rochester have been with me since I’ve been a teenager,” Wambach said. “The pride that they have for me and vice versa, truthfully, was evident with the attendance tonight and hopefully we can keep growing.”

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe (center) played for Seattle Reign FC for the first time on Sunday in a 1-1 draw with the Western New York Flash. (Photo Copyright Danielle Lorenzo for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe, who recently finished her stint with Lyon, made her NWSL debut for Seattle. Rapinoe is still adjusting to soccer back in the States.

“It’s a totally different style – it’s much more emphasized on tactics and technique and not as physical as the games are here,” she said.

Rapinoe is optimistic that her experience in Lyon will help her find moments on the field where she can help calm it down and integrate the style of play she learned overseas.

Western New York and Seattle battled aggressively under a blistering hot sun and uncomfortable humidity at Sahlen’s Stadium in front of a crowd of 6,347, the largest for a Flash game this season.

If one thing was evident off the bat, it was that it was going to be a physical game. Seattle outplayed WNY during the first half, putting a lot of pressure on their defensive line and goalkeeper Adriana Franch.

In the 19th minute, Seattle’s Teresa Noyola blasted a shot just shy of 20 yards out, but a diving Franch got there and batted it out with one hand.

Seattle scored in the 28th minute when Noyola passed to Keelin Winters, who blasted a shot to the left post and the ball was inadvertently deflected off of Estelle Johnson and then past Franch. This was the first goal for Seattle since May 16.

The Flash nearly scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute when Katherine Reynolds crossed a ball to an oncoming McCall Zerboni, who sent a bullet right below the crossbar, but Hope Solo was there to knock it over the top of the net.

The half ended with Seattle leading Western New York 1-0. Both teams came out after halftime hungry for more goals. Samantha Kerr started in the second half and made a positive impact with her speed and energy by creating some dangerous opportunities along the right flank.

Seattle just missed an opportunity in the 47th minute when Kennya Cordner launched a bullet towards the net, but it bounced off the post.

Kiersten Dallstream was given a yellow card after fouling Samantha Kerr in the 48th minute as Kerr was about to take a shot on goal.

In the 55th minute, Dallstream took down Wambach in the box and the Flash was granted a penalty kick. Dallstream was given her second yellow card of the match, resulting in a red card, reducing the Seattle lineup to 10. Wambach took the penalty and scored the equalizer in the 57th minute, chipping the ball off the underside of the crossbar and past Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Rapinoe took a corner shot in the 75th minute and tried to bend it into the upper right corner of the goal – just like her goal in the Olympics vs. Canada – but the shot sailed just above the crossbar.

Second half substitute Veronica Perez almost launched a diving header into the back of the net in the 80th minute, but Solo made a remarkable diving save to deny her the winning point.

Both teams fought hard for the winning goal in the second half, but were unable to connect on any opportunities.

The Flash will face the Washington Spirit on Friday June 28th at 7:05 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium.

6/23/13 — Seattle Reign FC vs. Western New York Flash

Seattle (0-9-2) 1 0 0
Western New York (5-2-4) 0 1 1

Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 28 Seattle Keelin Winters Teresa Noyola
2 56 Western New York Abby Wambach (PK)

Time Team ## Player Card Reason
48 Seattle 25 Kiersten Dallstream Yellow Card Defensive Handling
56 Seattle 25 Kiersten Dallstream Yellow Card Reckless Foul
73 Western New York 23 Jodi-Ann Robinson Yellow Card Reckless Foul
83 Seattle 10 Jessica Fishlock Yellow Card Dissent

WNY Flash starters: Franch, Sahlen, Johnson, Taylor, Reynolds, Salem, Zerboni, Lloyd, Huffman, DiMartino, Wambach.

Seattle Reign FC starters: Solo, Barnes, Reed, Kyle, Noyola, Fishlock, Winters, Nairn, Dallstream, Cordner, Rapinoe.

Time Team Out In
45 Western New York #14 Sarah Huffman #4 Samantha Kerr
59 Seattle #26 Kennya Cordner #13 Jenny Ruiz Williams
65 Western New York #15 Vicki DiMartino #23 Jodi-Ann Robinson
71 Seattle #19 Christine Nairn #5 Liz Bogus
73 Western New York #6 Angela Salem #17 Veronica Perez
88 Seattle #8 Teresa Noyola #4 Kate Deines


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