SEATTLE,WA – In front of a season-high crowd of 5,103 fans, Seattle Reign FC earned their first-ever win against the Orlando Pride, in a 5-2 victory at Memorial Stadium. Five goals is the highest goal total in a single match for Seattle this season.
With the win, Reign FC (5-4-5, 20 pts) have now lost just one game in their last eight matches, and Seattle has now scored in 15 consecutive home matches, tying an NWSL record.
“We put them under a lot of pressure,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey. “I said to the girls before the game ‘I think against Flash, we didn’t score the second goal early enough and goals always change games.’ and when we got the second goal, I thought we put ourselves in a really good position.”
Reign FC first goal of the match came off of a Kim Little penalty kick in the 21st minute of the match. The goal was Little’s first in eight matches, and her 30th career NWSL goal. Little is the first player to reach the milestone. Little also holds the all-time NWSL record for goals scored.
In the 30th minute, Seattle doubled the lead through a Jess Fishlock strike. After Orlando failed to clear a Naho free kick, the ball fell to the feet of Fishlock, who fired the ball into the back of the net.
“I think that we can be pleased with the result,” said Fishlock. “I think that’s the most important thing for us at this stage, is that we got three points, but what was really good was that we scored a lot of goals, and a lot of different players scored a lot of goals.”
Despite a comfortable two-goal lead at the half, Reign FC came out quickly in the second 45 minutes. Just two minutes in, Manon Melis was able to net her second goal in two games.
Orlando would cut the deficit to two goals in the 52nd minute, when Jasmyne Spencer slid home a Jamia Fields cross. However, just four minutes later, Reign FC would respond with a goal of their own, when Kendall Fletcher headed home a Lauren Barnes corner kick. Fletcher celebrated the goal with her signature Fletcher Flip.
Fletcher was awarded Reign FC player of the match for her efforts, once again going the full 90 minutes for the club. Fletcher also had a goal line clearance in the 38th minute, scored her first goal of the season, and earned Little’s penalty in the match.
“Sometimes it falls right and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Fletcher. “It seemed like tonight my number got called a lot. I was glad I was able to do that and help the team get the result.”
Seattle went on to earn another goal in the 87th minute, through an Orlando Pride own goal by defender Toni Pressley. The Pride grabbed one more goal before the time ran out, as Kristen Edmonds found the back of the net in the 89th minute.
Before the match, Reign FC honored Amy Griffin as a Reign FC Legend for her lifetime of work growing the women’s game in the United States. Griffin is the head coach of the United States deaf women’s national soccer team, who just returned from Italy after winning their second-straight Deaf World Cup.
Today’s result gives Reign FC 20 points on the season, good for sixth place on the NWSL table. Seattle is currently just two points out of a playoff slot, behind Sky Blue FC who currently sit in 4th with 22 points.
“We needed it [the win],” said Harvey. “I think we’ve managed to hang on to the playoffs, just hang around it enough to make it still viable and scraped results when we’ve needed them. Obviously we’d love to make it a little easier on ourselves but that doesn’t tend to be our way.”
With the loss, the Orlando Pride remain on 18 points for the season, and have moved down in the standings to seventh place. The Portland Thorns still remain in first place with 26 points, as they hold the tie-breaker over the Washington Spirit, who also have 26 points.
Up next, Reign FC visits Portland Thorns FC on July 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT. This is the third of four matches between the two teams this season, and their final match before the NWSL Olympic break.
SEA – Kim Little 21’ (PEN)
SEA – Jessica Fishlock 30’
SEA – Manon Melis 47’
ORL – Jasmyne Spencer (Jamia Fields) 52’
SEA – Kendall Fletcher (Lauren Barnes) 56’
SEA – Toni Pressley (Own Goal) 87’
ORL – Kristen Edmonds (Sarah Hagen) 89’