HOUSTON, TX––(Reign release) In their final regular season match of the 2016 NWSL season, Seattle Reign FC defeated the Houston Dash 3-2. It was Captain Keelin Winters’ final match for Reign FC.
With the win, Reign FC (8-6-6, 30 pts) are now 7-0-0 all-time against the Dash, including a 3-0-0 record at BBVA Compass Stadium. Seattle had not won on the road since April 24th against the Boston Breakers.
|National Women’s Soccer League 2016 Final Standings|
“I thought in the first half we started very slowly, and a lot of the things we had said we needed to be good at in the game we weren’t being good at,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey. “At halftime we had a very honest conversation and agreed that it wasn’t good enough. We didn’t want to go out on that footing. I just asked them to put on a performance in the second half that they’d be proud of.”
The Houston Dash opened up the scoring with first goal of the match in the 39th minute of play. Kealia Ohai found space on the sideline and launched a long distance shot from outside the box. Ohai’s shot went into the far upper 90 of the goal to give Houston the 1-0 lead.
The Dash went onto double their lead through Carli Lloyd. After Andressa played in Denise O’Sullivan behind the defense, O’Sullivan laid it off to Lloyd right at the penalty spot. Lloyd turned and buried her shot in the back of the net.
Reign FC started their comeback in the second half with a goal from Manon Melis. In the 60th minute, Jessica Fishlock sent a long ball over the top of the Houston defense, hitting Melis in stride. Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams came off her line to try to stop the attack, but Melis chipped it over her to make the scoreline 2-1. It was Melis’ fourth goal in the past five matches.
“I thought Manon was excellent in the second half and was a real threat for most of the game,” said Harvey. “Her goal sort of kickstarted us into the comeback. She does a lot of work off the ball and she got rewarded tonight.”
Kim Little tied the game at two goals apiece with her goal. Fishlock was able to collect the ball at the top of the box, and then found Little open in the penalty box. Little slotted the ball home to tie the match. It was the midfielder’s ninth goal all-time against the Dash, the most in Reign FC history.
The game-winning goal came in the 82nd minute from Beverly Yanez. Second-half substitute Carson Pickett served a cross into the box, and Yanez was able to get in front of her defender and poke home the final goal of the night.
Yanez was awarded Reign FC’s player of the match for her performance on the night. The goal was Yanez’s third on the season. The forward played 85 minutes in the game.