Photo credit: Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC Clinches Playoff Spot With 2-1 Win Over The Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC (10-3-3, 33 pts) became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Houston Dash (5-7-5, 20 pts) on Wednesday, August 12 in front of a crowd of 6,021 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Reign FC extended its league winning streak to four matches and its home winning streak to 21 matches.
Forward Merritt Mathias and defender Rachel Corsie each tallied goals in the victory as Reign FC grabbed its 10th win of the 2015 campaign. Seattle now sits at the top of the league standings with 33 points, five points ahead of second place Chicago Red Stars.
Both sides shared possession early on with Reign FC having the first dangerous attempt on goal. In the 10th minute, Little carried the ball into the 18 before firing a low shot that looked destined for goal. Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod dove low to her right to push the shot wide with her finger tips.
Five minutes later, Reign FC conceded the first goal of the match. Against the run of play, forward Kealia Ohai collected a deflected cross just inside the 18 and fired a low shot past goalkeeper Hope Solo to give the Dash a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.
Seattle continued to press and forward Megan Rapinoe worked the ball down the line with defender Stephanie Cox. Moments after an attempt by midfielder Jess Fishlock was saved by McLeod, Seattle found its equalizer.
Rapinoe gathered a ball near the half-way line and slotted a perfect through ball for forward Merritt Mathias. Mathias tapped the ball around McLeod at the top of the box and finished her shot into the empty net to bring Reign FC level at 1-1 in the 22nd minute.
Following the half, Seattle maintained its heavy pressure to find another goal, and peppered the Dash with a total of eight shots through the final 45 minutes of play.
In the 53rd minute, Reign FC earned a slew of corners, including one that fell to Corsie at the back post that Dash defender Meghan Klingenberg saved off the line.
Six minutes later, Corsie’s persistence at the back post paid off. Another corner kick found its way to the Scottish international who headed the ball past McLeod to give Reign FC a 2-1 lead.
Despite some late runs by the Dash that saw midfielder Carli Lloyd higher up the pitch, Reign FC held on for the win.
Mathias and Corsie each earned their second goals of the 2015 campaign while Rapinoe and Cox registered their four and second assists, respectively.
“I thought we definitely got better as the game went on,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Merritt has been great since she came back from her injury and I was pleased for her that she got a goal.”
On the defensive end, Solo made her first start for Reign FC since April after spending the past month recovering from a knee injury sustained in Canada during the Women’s World Cup. Solo made four saves on the night.
With the win, Reign FC remained on top the standings with 33 points and became the first team to clinch a playoff spot.
Wednesday’s game was the first of two regular season matchups between Reign FC and the Dash. The two sides will square off again on Friday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium. That match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
Visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for details on single match tickets. Seats start at $19. To catch the action away from Memorial Stadium, download the official, free Reign FC app here to watch every match live via YouTube. NWSL
Seattle Reign FC vs. Houston Dash Match Report
Date: August 12, 2015
Venue: Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium (Seattle, Wash.)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
HOU — Kealia Ohai 15′
SEA — Merritt Mathias (Rapinoe) 22′
SEA — Rachel Corsie (Cox) 59′
HOU — Ella Masser (Caution) 70′
SEA — Ellie Brush (Caution) 90+
Lineups & Stats
SEA: GK Hope Solo, D Rachel Corsie, D Kendall Fletcher, D Lauren Barnes, D Stephanie Cox, M Keelin Winters, M Jessica Fishlock, M Kim Little, F Merritt Mathias (Elli Reed, 84), F Beverly Yanez (Amber Brooks, 87′), F Megan Rapinoe (Katrine Veje, 93+)
Substitutes not used: Stanley, Cruz, Foxhoven, Bullock
HOU: GK Erin McLeod, D Jazmyne Avant (Camila, 81), D Ellie Brush, D Meghan Klingenberg, M Andressa, M Morgan Brian, M Carli Lloyd, M Kealia Ohai, M Rachael Axon, F Jessica McDonald (Melissa Henderson, 68′), F Ella Masar
Substitutes not used: Bianca Henninger, Jen LaPonte, Jordan Jackson, Tiffany McCarty
Referee: Cedric Adams
Assistant Referee: Cameron Blanchard, Kelsey Harms
Fourth Official: Charles Spaniola
Shots: SEA- 12, HOU- 4
Shots on goal: SEA- 6, HOU- 3
Saves: SEA- 2, HOU- 4
Corner kicks: SEA- 5, HOU- 1
Fouls: SEA- 10, HOU- 8
Offsides: SEA-5, HOU -1
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