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Recap: Reign Complete Travels With Another Comeback

Seattle once again comes back from a 1-0 deficit in Kansas City to draw on the road, this time starting a number of reserves as the team starts resting players for the playoff run.

Mike Russell

The story of much of the season was the Reign's penchant for surrendering the first goal and then coming back to earn points. That was the case again on Saturday, when in the 5th minute a cross unfortunately deflected off of Kiersten Dallstream straight into the path of KC's Amy Rodriguez, who one-touched the ball straight pass Hope Solo for the early lead. But just like in the last match against Kansas City, Seattle got a late equalizer when Kim Little beat two defenders on the endline to cross to Sydney Leroux, whose saved effort was knocked in by Megan Rapinoe.

In this case, the early surrendered goal was a little more understandable, given that Seattle was resting starters in their first game of the season that didn't have any meaning in the standings, given that the team had already clinched the Shield in the previous match. Right back Ellie Reed, winger Naho Kawasumi, and center back Kendall Fletcher all started on the bench. And rock of the midfield Keelin Winters was out for yellow card accumulation.

Despite the rotated roster, Seattle played an even match in tough conditions on short rest on the road at the #2 team in the league. They were significantly outshot in the first half 8-1, but that's a little deceptive as they held much of the possession and created some nice buildup that they just failed to turn into good chances. In the second half the Reign took over the match, especially after Kawasumi was subbed on late for Bev Goebel. Even after scoring the tying goal, rather than sitting back it was Seattle who was most likely to score again. In injury time rather than wasting time they were hurrying throw ins and piling pressure on KC trying to get the winner.

The draw is the second the team has earned on the road against KC and means that the Reign are guaranteed to have won the season series against every team in the league except Chicago — whom they had a win, a draw, and their only loss against — who are themselves likely vying with Portland for the last postseason spot and a likely match in Seattle in the first playoff round. Given the results of recent weeks, you'd probably rather take the Thorns there, which would be a pretty intense playoff matchup.

Seattle now heads home to finish out the season with two games at Memorial — the next against the Houston Dash on Wednesday — and then a season finale in Portland before home field through the playoffs, meaning they don't have to leave the friendly confines of the Northwest again this season. Rodriguez' goal pulls her within two of Kim Little for the league lead. Little's assist means she's one short of Lauren Holiday for the lead, and has a real shot to finish as the season as the leader for both goals and assists, which would be a stark indicator of how important she's been to the team in what should be an MVP season.

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