QUICK RECAP: Seattle Reign FC were on their heels for the first half, but kept the North Carolina Courage off the score sheet during the first 45 minutes. The tide would turn in the second half, and a Theresa Nielsen header off a Seattle corner bounced over goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and into the net.
Seattle held onto the lead until the final 30 seconds of the match, when Lynn Williams pounced on a ball after a Courage corner that was bouncing everywhere in front of Seattle’s goal.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw, and Seattle now has to wait until the results between the Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns later today to know whether they have the 2nd seed secured for the playoffs.
On Tuesday, Seattle Reign FC booked its ticket to the NWSL Playoffs with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dash. On Saturday, August 25, the team has a chance to secure a home semifinal match; a win against the top-ranked North Carolina Courage would do it.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 1 PM PT at Memorial Stadium, Reign FC’s final regular season home match. For those who can’t attend in person, the game will stream on the NWSL website and app.
The smoke has mostly cleared, and the temperatures have dropped, which means that for the first game in weeks, Seattle shouldn’t be dealing with adverse weather conditions.
Reign FC has not defeated the North Carolina Courage in the two years the club has been in the league (after moving from New York, where they played as the Western NY Flash). Unfortunately, this North Carolina team is better than ever — having lost just one match this season.
You know which team is also really good? Seattle Reign FC. The squad has been on a tear defensively, giving up the fewest goals in the league and earning the most shutouts, 12, an NWSL record. Rumi Utsugi, Elizabeth Addo, and Megan Rapinoe are all officially off the NWSL Injury Report — a good sign for Seattle. If the team can stay organized on defense, and pounce on the limited chances the Courage will concede, they have a real chance to walk away with one point — or even three.
OUT: Jaelene Hinkle (left ankle sprain), Yuri Kawamura (left knee ACL tear – SEI), Julie King(left ankle repair)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Darian Jenkins (USA U-23)
OUT: Yael Averbuch (illness – SEI), Kiersten Dallstream (right knee sprain – SEI), Allie Long (right knee sprain), Beverly Yanez (right foot fracture)
Keys to the Match
- Win the duels
- Don’t let their attackers get in behind
- Stay tight on set pieces
- Own the midfield
Reign Starting XI. Megan Rapinoe is a late scratch due to rib soreness — boo. Rumi Utsugi is available off the bench — yay.
Available substitutes today are Betos, Johnson, Kawasumi, Kleiner, Leon, Utsugi, and Westphal pic.twitter.com/diDWeSFS2s— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) August 25, 2018
Courage Starting XI. Crystal Dunn carries her left back spot over from the USWNT in place of Jaelene Hinkle.
First Half Highlights
14’ - Lydia Williams with a big stop.
27’ - Another big save by Williams.
Second Half Highlights
58’ - Lydia Williams comes up big again!
67’ - GOAL, REIGN FC!
How to Watch
Date/Time: Saturday, August 25 @ 1:00 PM PT
Location: UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium, Seattle
Streaming: NWSLSoccer.com (website / app)
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