SEATTLE, WA— (Reign release) In front of 3,586 fans, Seattle Reign FC came from behind to earn three points in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars. Reign FC’s goals mean the club has scored in 23 consecutive home matches, and marks the first time this season the club has come from behind to earn a victory.
The win moves Reign FC’s (4-2-5, 17 pts) all-time regular season record against Chicago to 4-5-4. It was Seattle’s first win against Chicago in seven matches, and extends their undefeated streak at Memorial to 12 matches, the longest active streak in the league.
“The result is great for us,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “They’ve always been a bogey team for us. To come away with a victory I think shows where we’re at currently. I said to the players ‘is it the prettiest game? No.’ But it often isn’t when they come here. We’ve spoken a lot about how we have to learn how to win ugly, and we won ugly today. I’m fine with that.”
Reign FC had a strong chance to score just ten minutes into the match. Naho whipped in a cross from the right side of the field, and Christine Nairn redirected it towards goal with the outside of her left foot. Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made the initial save and then collected the rebound.
Chicago opened the scoring in the 41st minute. After a blocked shot from forward Christen Press, midfielder Julie Ertz collected the ball in the box. Ertz then sent the ball to the back post where midfielder Alyssa Mautz was able to redirect it into the bottom left corner of the goal.
After going into the half down 1-0, Reign FC would equalize in the 58th minute. The referee awarded Seattle a penalty kick, after a Chicago player was called for a handball in the box. Megan Rapinoe stepped up to take the penalty kick, and finished to the right of a diving Naeher.
Rapinoe would score the game-winning goal, her second of the match, in the 84th minute from another penalty kick. Rapinoe earned the penalty kick when she was fouled in the box by defender Casey Short.
The two goals bring Reign FC’s goal total in the second half of matches to 12, the most in the league.
Rapinoe was named Reign FC player of the match for her efforts. Her brace brings her goal total for the season to seven, the most in the NWSL. The forward also played the full 90 minutes and tallied three shots on goal in the match.
“We want to win every game,” said Rapinoe. “I feel like we’ve been really close, we’ve had good performances, and we’ve been right there. We’ve deserved a couple more wins than we’ve had, so it’s nice to actually go out and just take it.”
Tonight’s result sees Reign FC points total for the season improve to 17, and move up to fourth place on the NWSL table. Other results today saw Portland and Orlando earn wins, while Houston and Boston tied.
Reign FC’s next match is this Saturday, when they host Military Appreciation Night and face Portland Thorns FC for the second time this year. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm PT. This is the first of two matches between the rivals at Memorial Stadium this season.