Seattle Reign will play Kansas City Championship Final 2015
NWSL Playoff Semi Final Results:
Chicago Red Stars 0 – 3 Kansas City
Amy Rodriguez 12′ 25′ (Kansas City)
Erika Tymrak 21′ (Kansas City)
The reigning National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) punched their ticket to defend their title on October 1st after defeating the Chicago Red Stars with three first-half goals at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon. FC Kansas City will play against the winner of Seattle and Washington.
FC Kansas City’s leading goal scorer Amy Rodriguez has now reached eight tallies after scoring a brace, while 2013 Rookie of the Year Erika Tymrak notched her fourth goal of the season to eliminate Chicago in the first semifinal of the day.
The hosting Red Stars came out strong to the field and created multiple scoring opportunities before goalkeeper Michele Dalton was unable to clear an easy ball after being pressured by Lauren Holiday who touched the ball for Rodriguez to put the Blues on the board in the 16th minute.
Moments later, Kansas City increased the lead when Heather O’Reilly sent a perfectly placed ball to Tymrak, who dribbled past a defender on the left side of the box and blasted a shot to the roof of the net making it 2-0 in the 21st minute.
Four minutes later, Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s team would add one more goal to the game when Rodriguez was left alone against Dalton. She got past her and then dribbled through three defenders and found the back of the net in the 25th minute with a right-footed strike.
Coach Rory Dames made two substitutions for the second half with Samantha Johnson and Sofia Huerta entering the match for Abby Erceg and Alyssa Mautz. However, the Red Stars were unable to beat goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who recorded her ninth clean sheet of the year.
Seattle Reign 3 – 0 Washington Spirit
Beverly Yanez 71′ (Seattle Reign)
Megan Rapinoe 75′ (Seattle Reign)
Mariah Bullock 90′ (Seattle Reign)
Seattle Reign FC (13-3-4, 43 pts) punched its ticket to the NWSL Championship match with a 3-0 victory over the Washington Spirit (8-6-6, 30 pts) in an NWSL semi-final on Sunday, September 13 at the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd of 5,021.
Seattle will now travel to Portland to face FC Kansas City on Thursday, October 1 at Providence Park. Tickets for that match are currently on sale at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
Reign FC almost opened the scoring in the 4th minute after forward Megan Rapinoe collected a ball in the box and dropped it off for forward Merritt Mathias. Mathias’ shot beat Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris but hit off the right post before cleared away.
Three minutes later, Danish international Katrine Veje intercepted a back-pass that put her one-on-one with Harris. Veje attempted to chip the Spirit goalkeeper who was able to bat the ball away from danger.
Washington’s best chance came in the 30th minute when forward Crystal Dunn found space down the right side before sending a lofting ball towards the back post. Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo was in position to tip the ball harmlessly over the crossbar.
Following the second half, Seattle amped up its pressure and peppered the Spirit with a total of 10 shots.
Reign FC again almost found the opening tally in the 54th minute when Rapinoe played a short corned into the box for defender Stephanie Cox. Cox quickly sent a left-footed shot curling towards goal but Harris was able to leap up and push the ball over the crossbar.
In the 71st minute, Seattle found its goal. Moments after entering the match, forward Beverly Yanez got on the end of a cross from Rapinoe to slam home the opening goal and put Reign FC up 1-0 over the Spirit.
Four minutes later, Rapinoe doubled the home team’s lead. Scottish international Kim Little gathered the ball with space in the middle and sent it out wide. Rapinoe took the ball into the box and fired her shot past Harris and into the side netting, extending Seattle’s lead to 2-0.
Up by two goals, Reign FC remained patient on the ball and continued to pressure the Spirit’s goal. After earning a corner, Cox’s ball in fell to midfielder Mariah Bullock who powered her shot into the roof of the net to bring the final scoreline to 3-0.
On the defensive end, Seattle’s backline remained stout throughout the night to keep NWSL Golden Boot winner Crystal Dunn off the scoresheet. As such, Solo was forced to make just one save on the night.
“Last week’s game wasn’t just that we won. We felt like we wanted to prove a point tonight,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. ” I thought our backline was exceptional tonight. Jess [Fishlock] and Keelin [Winters] were both exceptional as well.”
With the victory, Reign FC advances to the 2015 NWSL Championship for a second consecutive year. Seattle will face FC Kansas City, who beat Chicago Red Stars earlier on Sunday 3-0 to clinch their spot, in a Championship rematch on Thursday, October 1. Following a new league structure for the NWSL Championship Final, that match will be played at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Source courtesy of: nwslsoccer.com
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