Christen Press’s goal early in the second half stood up in the Red Stars, 1-0 victory over Seattle Reign FC in the final match before the FIFA break. The Red Stars extended their unbeaten run to five games and took second place behind the Courage and have dropped the fewest points of any team in NWSL. The Reign lost for the first time since Week 3 and sit fifth on the table but with a match in hand on 4th place Sky Blue.
After a scoreless opening half the Red Stars came out of the break firing on all cylinders and nearly had the opening goal when Danielle Colaprico stepped into a loose ball at the top of the box and ripped a shot that stayed out only through a spectacular save by Haley Kopmeyer. Press tapped in the rebound but was ruled to be in an offside position.
Just a minute later, Kopmeyer’s clearance was intercepted by Julie Ertz who took a touch and then floated a well-weighted ball over the top to Sofia Huerta on the left side. Rachel Corsie ran Huerta to the end line but Huerta was able to slide a ball back in front of goal where Press beat Lauren Barnes and then Kopmeyer for her 3rd goal of the season.
The Red Stars continued to apply pressure for most of the remainder of the match. They dropped off just enough to stifle any Reign build up and while they did not score again, created several quality chances. Some were saved by Kopmeyer who at one point was singlehandedly keeping the Reign within a goal.
The best of the chances came in the 76th minute. Casey Short played a perfect, diagonal ball that put Huerta behind the Reign defense on a breakaway. Huerta took it to the top of the 18 and unleashed a shot but missed the target altogether, going wide to the left.
The Reign put together a few spurts of possession late in the match but were never able to seriously threaten for an equalizer.
The Red Stars (5-2-1, 16 pts) will next host the Washington Spirit on June 17. The Reign (3-2-3, 12 pts) are in Kansas City, also June 17.
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