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10-player Seattle Reign snaps five-game losing streak

Seattle Reign FC got back in the win column in the most NWSL After Dark route imaginable.

Last Updated
4 min read
Seattle Reign players celebrate Veronica Latsko's 89th minute game winning goal over San Diego in May 2024.
Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — Seattle Reign FC need points. The journey to get out of the bottom of the standings began tonight at Lumen Field as Laura Harvey’s side started a grueling three-match week. Friday night they hosted San Diego Wave FC, and it was a signature NWSL After Dark affair.

Nine minutes into the match Reign forward Tziarra King was shown a straight red card after VAR summoned referee Danielle Cheskey to the monitor and it was determined that King committed a violent action, striking San Diego's Hanna Lundkvist in the face. Kyra Carusa opened the scoring for the Wave two minutes after the reset. Seattle would get their equalizer in the 34th minute as Bethany Balcer capitalized on a blunder by San Diego goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan while trying to play the ball out of the back.

The second half saw no chaos, no controversy and despite Seattle playing basically the entire evening with 10 players, they were the more aggressive side, making runs into San Diego's defensive third and threatening them. And for a team trying to snap a five-match losing streak, thinking it was going to be another hard evening with the early red card, luck finally came to Seattle as an 89th minute goal by Veronica Latsko gave Seattle a 2-1 victory over San Diego Wave FC.


There's an X/Twitter account called @wpiootbgw, which stands for When Playing It Out of the Back Goes Wrong, and this time Reign FC were the beneficiaries of it as Bethany Balcer claimed the equalizer for Seattle in the 34th minute when San Diego tried to play the ball out of the back.


Despite playing nearly the entire match down a player after the red card, Seattle were the aggressors for most of the second half. Ji didn't start the match, but came on in the 67th minute and set up the winning moment with a sublime free kick into the box that Veronica Latsko got her head onto, and with her entire body away from goal redirected it at the exact angle that San Diego's Kailen Sheridan could do nothing with, encapsulating Seattle's resilient, never-say-die energy to win the match.


Ivory has been in goal for Seattle ever since Claudia Dickey had to leave the match at Bay FC on April 14 due to a knee injury. Over the course of the losing streak, teammates have been steadfast in praising Ivory for putting in the work at training. The circumstances may have been on the extreme end of the chaos scale even for the NWSL, but tonight Ivory claimed her first NWSL regular-season win, which coincidentally was captain Lauren Barnes' 100th win, the first player in NWSL history to hit that achievement. Ivory earned her win tonight, especially with this save.


NWSL After Dark kicked in nine minutes into the match when Tziarra King was shown a straight red after a referee Danielle Cheskey was summoned to the VAR monitor. While running alongside one another, King's right hand struck Hanna Lundkvist in the face. The VAR check came during a stoppage so Lundkvist could be tended to due to a facial laceration, and Cheskey determined it was enough of a violent action to merit a straight red for King. This play and a similar red to Wave midfielder Kristen McNabb late in second-half stoppage time will definitely be discussed over the weekend around the league.

After the match, Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey was asked if the club was going to or had already initiated an appeal process for King's red, but she didn't tip her hand as to the club's plan. The club can appeal it, but as to whether they choose to do so and if will be successful, we'll just have to wait and see.

"I say 9.5"

Aficionados of NWSL After Dark got their money's worth with tonight's game. When asked to put the game they had just played on the NWSL After Dark scale of 1 to 10, Veronica Latsko said, "You always have to leave room for growth, I say 9.5." Laurel Ivory added, "All I kept saying after the game was, 'What just happened?!'"

Taking in the results around the league so far this week, Seattle are no longer at the bottom of the table and now in 10th place with the win. It's a short turnaround for Seattle as they're back at Lumen Field on Wednesday, May 8 for a weeknight meeting with Kansas City Current. Kansas City will be coming in on an even shorter turnaround as they have a match this Sunday at Houston Dash. Seattle Reign FC vs. Kansas City Current is scheduled for a 7 PM kickoff and will be broadcast on the NWSL+ streaming platform as well as locally on KONG TV.