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Reign prevail in rainy New Jersey, keep perfect record

Hope Solo earned a third shutout in four matches with a 2-0 win over Sky Blue FC on Wednesday. (Photo Copyright Denise McCooey/Prost Amerika)

Seattle Reign FC maintained a perfect record on Wednesday, defeating Sky Blue FC 2-0 at a rain-soaked Yurcak Feild at Rutgers University.

Japanese international forward Nahomi Kawasumi scored her first goal in a Seattle jersey to put her team on the board in the 24th minute thanks to a howler from Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jill Loyden. After a Kelley O’Hara back-pass, Loyden went to clear the ball with her right foot, but mistakenly touched it with her left plant foot, causing her to whiff the clearance. Loyden scrambled to make amends, but Kawasumi patiently waited to calmly tuck the ball into the net.

Kawasumi combined with Kim Little a few minutes after halftime to feed Beverly Goebel in for a second goal, and the Reign were well on their way to a 4-0-0 start to the season in their first road win this year.

Sky Blue FC took risks in the final 15 minutes, with Sophie Schmidt pushing forward with a pair of shots from distance. It was Schmidt who stepped up in the 87th minute to take a penalty kick for Sky Blue, but Hope Solo went the right way — to her right — to stop the low shot and preserve the shutout. The clean sheet was the third of the season for Seattle, who failed to keep a single one in 2013.

Lineups

Sky Blue FC Starting IX: Loyden; O’Hara, Foord, Rampone, Nick, Goodson, Schmidt, Kiryu, Freels, Lytle, Ocampo

Seattle Reign FC Starting XI: Solo; Cox, Barnes, Fletcher, Reed; Winters, Fishlock, Little; Goebel, Leroux, Kawasumi

Full replay

Second half:

Beverly Goebel’s goal, scored while the stream was down:

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