The Seattle Reign welcomed Sky Blue FC to Memorial Stadium Saturday night. The Reign entered the match looking to continue their unbeaten streak. Sky Blue took the opening kickoff four minutes past the hour.
The Reign had the first chance of the night in the second minute of the match. After Kim Little weaved her way through the box, she found Beverly Yanez at the top of the 18 yard box. Yanez’s shot to the upper right corner was stopped by Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron. The Reign’s second chance of the night came in the sixth minute of the match when once again Little found an open teammate. This time around it was Jess Fishlock who took a shot at goal. Sadly, the shot was way too high and went out for a goal kick.
The Reign had yet another chance in the eighth minute. This time, they converted. Fishlock sent a pass through the box that found the feet of Keelin Winter. Winter was able to slot the ball past a diving Cameron. The goal by Winters was her first on the 2015 NWSL season. Just three minutes later, Merritt Mathis was brought down 23 yards out from goal. Little stepped up to take the free kick and sent it just over the crossbar.
Sky Blue got their first real good chance of the game in the 15th minute of the match. After a great long ball, Meg Morris found herself going one on one with a defender. She took the shot, but it hit the post and Seattle cleared it out for a corner kick. In the 19th minute, the Reign put pressure right back on Sky Blue. A cross was sent in by Kendall Fletcher that found the head of Yanez, but Cameron was able to make a diving save to her right.
In the 26th minute, the Reign had yet another opportunity on goal. Little found a streaking Yanez who tried to dribble around the ‘keeper. She took a shot, but the ball was saved by Maya Hayes who was tracking back on the play. On the ensuing corner taken by Stephanie Cox, the ball found the head of Fishlock who was able to redirect it back post to put the Reign up 2-0.
Sky Blue started playing long balls instead of trying to string together passes. In the 31st minute, after another long ball played by Sky Blue, Shawna Gordon found the ball at her feet about 20 yards from goal. In the end her shot never troubled Reign goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.
The last fifteen minutes of the first half had a lot of back and forth between both teams. Sky Blue was able to finally find some possession and limit the Reign’s dangerous attack. The Reign was looking to add a third goal in the first half, but a pass to Mathias was just a little too far in front. After two minutes of stoppage time, the referee signaled the end of the first half. The Reign headed to the locker room up 2-0 in front of the home crowd.
Seattle took the second half kick and went looking for their third goal of the night. For the first five minutes of the second half, Seattle dominated in possession and got their first real chance of the half in the 51st minute. A cross was sent in, but it was headed wide of goal by Fletcher.
The next real chance in the game came in the 61st minute. Fishlock had some fancy footwork outside the box. She was able to find a Little at the top of the 18 yard box. Little made a few defender missed, but wasn’t able to put her shot on target and the ball sailed over the crossbar. In the 69th minute it appeared that the Reign found their third goal. However, a foul was called on Danielle Foxhoven on Sky Blue’s goalkeeper. Cameron never really had full control of the ball and Foxhoven kicked the ball into the net. The referee did not see it that way and whistled the foul.
The Reign came close to scoring again in the 75th minute off a corner from Little. The ball was sent in and found the head of Mariah Nogueira, but Cameron was able to make the save and the ball went out for another corner. Off the ensuing corner, Nogueira was brought down about 25 yards from goal. Little sent in the free kick and Sky Blue was called for a hand ball in box. Little calmly converted the penalty to give the Reign a commanding 3-0 lead with under fifteen minutes to go.
The Reign kept pushing and looking for more as the final ten minutes of the match went on. Sky Blue was unable to keep possession for more than a few passes here and there. In the end, the Reign won what could be one of their most dominating games of the year besides their season opening 5-1 thrashing of the Western New York Flash. They also went into the World Cup break with two straight clean sheets.
The Reign are off for the next two weeks before they head on the road to take on the Boston Breakers on Sunday June 21st..