Seattle Reign FC (14-1-4, 46 pts) posted its largest margin of victory in team history on Sunday, July 27, knocking off Portland Thorns FC (8-7-6, 30 pts) 5-0 in front of a team-record 5,957 at the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.
Japanese international Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi’s two goals and assist on a third led Seattle in the victory, which brings Reign FC closer to home field advantage throughout the playoffs, after the team clinched a first-round home playoff game earlier in the week.
“With Portland playing with three back on their defensive line, there was just a lot of openings for us today,” Kawasumi said through an interpreter. “More so than usual. That was easy to find.” U.S. Women’s National Team forward Sydney Leroux kicked off the scoring early for Seattle, notching her fourth goal of the season in the fourth minute, dribbing to the end line before sneaking a shot past goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.
Just before halftime Kawasumi got her first goal of the afternoon, putting a header just past Angerer in the box off a cross from Scottish international Kim Little in the 40th minute to extend the lead to two.
Little and Kawasumi would help Seattle cushion its lead just four minutes into the second half, with a Little cross to the box again finding Kawasumi for the score.
Just minutes after entering the game as a substitute, forward Megan Rapinoe got in on the scoring barrage with a goal of her own, notching her second goal of the year in the 57th minute, heading in a Kawasumi cross to the back post.
Rapinoe said after the game that she felt good, as she works her way back from a left foot injury that has kept her out most of the season.
“It’s easy to play the style that we want to play, it’s sort of naturally how I play the game anyways, and to be able to come into a game that we absolutely dominated was good for me.” Rapinoe said.
In stoppage time, Little scored her league-leading 12th goal of the season to put Seattle up 5-0, giving the team the largest margin of victory in it’s history.
“I think we played well last week against Chicago, but we just didn’t finish the game off,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Whereas today we were dominant and were really dangerous as well.”
With the win, Reign FC remains atop the league standings with 46 points, nine points ahead of second-place FC Kansas City, and 16 points clear of third-place Portland.
Seattle holds the NWSL record for points in a season, eight ahead of the previous high of 38, with five regular season matches left to play.
Reign FC is now 2-0-0 against Portland this season, after beating Thorns FC 1-0 at Providence Park on May 10, with Little dribbling past Angerer on the near post in the 89th minute on a breakaway to score the game’s lone goal. The two sides will meet again on Sunday, August 17 in Portland. That match is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time.
Seattle will now head on the road to take on the Houston Dash on Wednesday, July 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match kicks off at 6 p.m. (PT) with a live, high-definition webstream available at ESPN3.com
Visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for details on single match tickets. Seats start at $19.