The Washington Spirit got goals from four different players as they defeated Seattle Reign FC 4-2 for their first win of the season on Thursday night in front of 1,011 fans in Seattle.
Seattle was able to get on the board first when Lindsay Taylor chested down a pass at the top of the box and fired a side volley past Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
The Reign weren’t able to hold the lead, allowing two goals in a three minute span just before the half for a 2-1 Washington lead at the break. Spirit midfielder Diana Matheson scored her team leading fourth goal of the season to tie the match 1-1. The goal tied her with Boston’s Sydney Leroux for the league lead.
Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos managed to keep the game tied briefly, making back-to-back saves on a Lori Lindsey free kick followed by an Ali Krieger volley. Krieger managed to head in the rebound from her own shot, giving the Spirit the 2-1 advantage.
Seattle was able to bring the game level early on in the second half when Teresa Noyola nodded in a Christine Nairn cross in the 49th minute.
Rookie forward Tiffany McCarty broke the tie and put the Spirit back on top seven minutes later when she received a pass from Matheson, turned on her defenders and fired a shot into the far side netting from 12 yards out. It was McCarthy’s first goal of the season.
Defender Tori Huster added an insurance goal in the 84th minute when she headed in a Lori Lindsey free kick.
- Injury bug strikes – again: Defender Elli Reed was spotted on crutches prior to the game with no timeable set for her return and midfielder Keelin Winters also missed the match with an undisclosed injury. Defender Kate Deines left the match in the 18th minute with an ankle injury.
- Diana Matheson: With a young group of attacking players, Matheson has taken on the role of goal scorer, which isn’t a role most people had her in at the start of the season. In order to stop the Spirit, teams are going to need to stop Matheson first.
- What is going to help the Reign get on track? Six games into the season and the Reign are sitting at the bottom of the standings at 0-5-1. Goalkeeper Hope Solo will hopefully be back within the next month and midfielder Megan Rapinoe should be back from her stint with Lyon in France by the end of June. After conceding 12 goals and scoring just four, the two US National team regulars will look to help their team make a late run at the playoffs. In the meantime, Seattle needs to find a way to score goals and to hold onto that lead.