The Washington Spirit (3-14-4, 13 points) edged out the Seattle Reign FC (5-13-3, 18 points) 1-0 on Saturday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Canadian international Diana Matheson scored the lone goal of the night— her 8th on the season.
Reign FC played an attacking style of soccer that saw 14 total shots and 5 corner kicks. Seattle finished the first half with 7 shots and matched the effort in the second half despite a late goal by Washington. In the 29th minute midfielder Christine Nairn dribbled up the middle of the field for a shot on Washington’s Ashlyn Harris, but her attempt was in close range of the goalkeeper, who was able to scoop up the threat.
Two minutes later, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and Nairn combined with a wall-pass to get Rapinoe on the endline for a cross back to forward Jessica McDonald, whose shot went just wide of the near post.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
McDonald nearly put Seattle on the board in the 34th minute when a quick counter- attack put her in on goal with Harris, but the Spirit goalkeeper was able to come out and smother the ball before she could get a shot off.
Seattle defender Emily Zurrer saved what could have been the go-ahead goal for Washington just before the half when she stripped the ball from forward Conny Pohlers as she was about to shoot from inside the six-yard box.
Reign FC midfielder Megan Rapinoe led the Seattle offense with shots in addition to taking all five Seattle corner kicks. Her best chance of the night came in the 60th minute of the match when she blasted a shot from 30 yards out that forced Harris to make a diving save to her left.
Midfielder Diana Matheson scored the game winner when she won the ball off the Seattle defense in the 82nd minute and carried it downfield for an uncontested shot against goalkeeper Hope Solo. She finished a perfectly placed shot to the lower side netting of the far post.
Nairn and Rapinoe continued to test the Spirit keeper, each recording shots on goal in the 86th and 90th minutes but were unable to get past Harris, who recorded five saves on the night.
Seattle will return home for their final match of the season against Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, August 17 at 8 p.m. at the Moda Health Pitch at Starfire Stadium. Tickets to the match are extremely limited, but are available for purchase at www.ReignFC.com.