ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Seattle Reign FC secured another win to stay unbeaten on Wednesday night at Sahlen’s Stadium after defeating the WNY Flash 2-1.
Megan Rapinoe entered the match for Nahomi Kawasumi in the second half, marking her first match back since her left foot injury sustained in the Seattle season opener on April 13th, and she setup Jess Fishlock’s game-winner in the 85th minute.
“I saw Jess, and of course when you get down to that angle anything across the front of goal is pretty dangerous,” Rapinoe said. “Jess and I have a pretty good connection together on the field.”
The match also marked the return of Hope Solo, who played for the first time since her arrest on June 21.
The Reign improved to 12-0-3 — opening up a 9 point lead at the top of the table — but the performance didn’t totally please coach Laura Harvey.
“In the second half I just thought we moved the ball better,” she said. “When they were tired, we just kept moving it, kept shifting it and kept probing away. I think sort of the last five minutes when we were keeping the ball in the corner just sums it up really. We have the talent to be able do stuff like that and its frustrating for me that we don’t show it for 90 minutes, but obviously getting the result tonight was important.”
Seattle was able to find a rhythm right of the bat and dominated possession for the first 10-15 minutes. In the 15th minute, Stephanie Cox played a beautiful ball to Beverly Goebel down the line. Goebel took a shot, but it went just over the top of the crossbar.
The Flash settled in halfway through the first half and got the offensive momentum moving forward. Vicky Losada found her way through the reign defense and passed a beautiful through ball into Sam Kerr in the 17th minute, but Kerr was unable to sneak the shot passed Hope Solo.
Lydia Williams, particularly, had some notable saves during the match. Little started a great offensive sequence for Seattle in the 24th minute. She passed to Fishlock who then found Nahomi Kawasumi at the top of the box who drilled a shot toward goal but Williams was there to block the shot. The rebound was gathered by Little who took another shot toward goal, but Williams was there again for the save. Seattle nearly scored in the 54th minute when Fishlock found Goebel, who drilled a shot to the upper right corner, but Williams was there to make the diving save.
The Flash netted the first goal of the night in the 33rd minute. Brittany Taylor took a free kick, which was deflected by Keelin Winters to the feet of Losada, who drilled a shot that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar for a goal.
Goebel scored the equalizer with a header in the 63rd minute off of a cross from Little.
But it was Rapinoe who made a big impact when subbing in and she was on the leading front for the second goal scored by Seattle in the 85th minute. Rapinoe found her way to the end line and sent in a beautiful ball to Fishlock in the box who easily finished the tap-in.
Seattle’s win marked the third comeback of the season on the Flash, who have taken just one point from the three matches. Ten days ago, the Reign scored twice late to beat the Flash 2-1 in Rochester, just as Seattle did again on Wednesday.
1 – 33’ WNY Flash: Vicky Losada
1 – 63’ Seattle Reign FC: Beverly Goebel (Kim Little)
2 – 85’ Seattle Reign FC: Jess FIshlock (Megan Rapinoe)
WNY Flash: Williams; Reynolds, Taylor, Williamson, Edmonds; Salem (71’ Sonia), Zerboni, Losada, Lloyd; Kerr, Martin (59’ Spencer)
Seattle Reign FC: Solo; Cox, Deines, Reed, Fletcher; Winters (C) Fishlock, Little; Kawasumi (68’ Rapinoe), Leroux, Goebel
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