Seattle Reign FC (5-12-3, 18 points) were defeated by the Western NY Flash (9-4-7, 34 points) 0-1 after a second half goal from midfielder Carli Lloyd.
Seattle and the Flash finish the season series 1-1-1 after Seattle won 3-2 at home on July 11 and the teams tied 1-1 on June 23 in their first meeting in Rochester. The Flash are now in a three-way tie for second place in the NWSL standings with Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC. Though it was a scoreless first half, both teams looked dangerous and had quality chances on goal. In the 30th minute Lloyd fired a shot from the top right of the 18-yard box that ricocheted off the crossbar. Only a minute later Seattle midfielder Megan Rapinoe beat two Flash defenders on the left flank and ripped a shot that bounced off the crossbar as well.
The ensuing 15 minutes saw several quality chances by Seattle, including another save off the crossbar for WNY. In the 34th minute forward Liz Bogus fed the ball to a streaking Rapinoe at the top of the 18, who then beat the defender with a great first touch, but was denied by Franch in the ensuing one-on-one. Minutes later, Reign FC midfielder Kate Deines pounced on a loose ball from a Reign FC corner kick and ripped a shot that nailed the crossbar.
Just after the half Seattle nearly had the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute. Defender Kaylyn Kyle headed on a Rapinoe corner kick that drew Flash goalkeeper Adriana Franch out of the box. Despite beating Franch, her attempt was cleared away on the line by Flash midfielder Sarah Huffman.
Carli Lloyd scored the lone goal of the night when she rocketed a shot to the upper corner of the net in the 54th minute. She combined with forward Abby Wambach for a wall-pass at the top of the penalty area to get behind the Seattle defense and face Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo.
The Flash hit the crossbar two more times in the second half when Solo tipped an Adriana Martin shot off the bar for a spectacular save in the 61st minute and McCall Zerboni launched one off the crossbar minutes later.
Seattle nearly equalized in stoppage time when midfielder Jessica Fishlock played a long ball over the top to second-half sub Jessica McDonald. McDonald brought the ball down with her chest and volleyed from the top of the box but her attempt dipped just over the crossbar and into the goal netting.
The Reign fly to Washington DC to face the Spirit at 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, August 10. The Spirit match is the NWSL Game of the Week and will be broadcast on the FOX Soccer Channel. Seattle will play its final regular-season match at home against the Portland Thorns on Saturday, August 17. Tickets to the Portland match are available at www.ReignFC.com.