Rapinoe, Reign stick it to Thorns

SEATTLE, WA— (Reign release) In front of 4,270 fans, Seattle Reign FC earned three points in a shutout 2-0 victory over rival Portland Thorns FC. Reign FC’s goals mean the club has scored in 24 consecutive home matches, and have scored a league-leading 13 second half goals.

The win evens Reign FC’s (5-2-5, 20 pts) all-time regular season record against Thorns FC to 6-6-2. It was Seattle’s first win against Portland in 2017 and extends their undefeated streak at Memorial to 13 matches, the longest active streak in the league. Reign FC are 4-0-3 at home this season.

“We put in a phenomenal effort and tactically, we sort of knew what they were going to do,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “We look like Seattle Reign currently. We feel like a team that wants to play for each other…I’m really happy with the result. With everything that’s gone into this week, I always said that I was glad to have Portland last because it’s just that extra adrenaline, and extra bite around the game, and I think that’s what drove us through.”

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Seattle had their first chance of the match in the 12th minute when Megan Rapinoe got the ball on the left side. She took a touch to get around Portland defender Dagný Brynjarsdóttir and created enough space to get a shot off from the top of the box, but goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made the save.

Reign FC’s first goal would not come until stoppage time in the first half. Rapinoe intercepted an errant back pass from defender Emily Sonnett. The forward was able to beat Franch to the ball and take a sliding shot that made it into the bottom left corner of the goal. Rapinoe’s opening goal breaks a streak of four consecutive matches in which Reign FC conceded the first goal of the match.

Three minutes into the second half, Reign FC had a chance to extend their lead. Christine Nairn took a free kick that was cleared to the top of the box. Rumi Utsugi controlled the ball and took a shot that hit the right post and went out of bounds.

Haley Kopmeyer kept Thorns FC off the scoreboard in the 66th minute when midfielder Lindsey Horan got a shot off from inside the six-yard box. The ball fell to Horan’s feet after a missed clearance but Kopmeyer was there to make the point-blank save, and the rebound was cleared out of play. Kopmeyer made three total saves in the match to bring her league-leading save total to 53 this season.

Rapinoe would double the lead in the 81st minute. Nairn sent a long ball over the top to find Rapinoe behind the defense. The forward took a first time shot that went past Franch and into the far lower corner of the goal. This is the second consecutive game Rapinoe has scored two goals.

Rapinoe was named Reign FC player of the match for her efforts. Her brace brings her goal total for the season to nine, the most in the NWSL. It is the second consecutive match Rapinoe has scored a brace, and she has scored five goals in the past four matches.

Tonight’s result sees Reign FC points total for the season improve to 20, and move up to third place on the NWSL table. Other results today saw Sky Blue FC, Boston, and Chicago earn wins.

Reign FC’S next match is this Saturday, when they head on the road to face the North Carolina Courage for the first time in club history. Kickoff is set for 4:30pm PT. This is the first of three matches between the two teams this season.

tableJuly1-2017

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