Washington Spirit Fall to Seattle Reign, 3-0

Washington SpiritSeattle Reign FC defeated the Washington Spirit 3-0 in the second NWSL semifinal match up of the day. Both teams came out firing, but Seattle had more dangerous chances. Despite the Reign’s strong pressure, the game was tied going into halftime. In the second half, the Reign was able to capitalize on its chances and scored three goals in the last 20 minutes of the game to take the victory and move on to the final.

The first major chance of the game came in the 4th minute when Megan Rapinoe got behind the Spirit’s back line and passed to Merritt Mathias who hit the post. The ball bounced back in front of the goal and Megan Oyster knocked the ball out of danger.

Crystal Dunn launched a cross in the 30th minute, which goalkeeper Hope Solo pushed over the crossbar for a Spirit corner. Angela Salem got her head on Nairn’s corner kick, but Seattle cleared the ball off the line.

Although both sides pressured and had chances, Seattle Reign FC was more dangerous throughout the first half. Seattle Reign’s Kim Little took a free kick just outside the 18 yard box in the 37th minute. Despite significant Seattle pressure, Ashlyn Harris and the Spirit back line were able to come up with a few incredible saves and defensive stops to keep the game scoreless at the conclusion of the first half.

Both teams came out of the locker room ready to press hard, but the Reign had the first significant opportunity 0f the match off a Rapinoe to Stephanie Cox corner in the 54th minute that bounced around in front of the box. The Spirit cleared it briefly before Katrine Veje sent it onto Jessica Fishlock who headed it over the goal.

In the 64th minute, Diana Matheson worked the ball up the field to Crystal Dunn. Dunn shot from just outside the 18 yard box and her effort sailed just wide of the Seattle goal.

Beverly Yanez came into the match for the Reign in the 71st minute and poked the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the game. Rapinoe set up Yanez for the goal with a deft run on the left side of the box and cross into the center of the six yard box where Yanez ran onto the ball and put the Reign up 1-0.

In the 75th minute, Rapinoe got the ball from Kim Little and found space down the left side and took a well placed shot at the top of the goal that was just out of the reach of Harris for the Reign’s second goal.

Their Reign further extended their lead just before the final whistle when Mariah Bullock chested down the ball after a Reign corner n the 89th minute and blasted a shot beyond Harris to put the Reign up 3-0.

The Washington Spirit’s season comes to a close after this defeat. Seattle Reign FC will go on to face FC Kansas City in the NWSL Final on October 1.

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