Catley Assists Rapinoe for Lone Goal in Seattle's 1â??0 Win over Utah
(Seattle - July 11, 2018) - Playing its second home match in five days, Seattle Reign FC (8-3-5, 29 points) scratched and clawed to a 1-0 victory over Utah Royals FC (5-5-6, 21 points) on Wednesday, July 11. In the Wednesday night match, presented by Carter Subaru, Megan Rapinoe knocked in the only goal by heading home a corner kick from Steph Catley. The goal was Rapinoe's seventh of the season and the winner for Seattle against their former head coach Laura Harvey.
Making her first start with Seattle, Adriana Leon fired the initial shot of the match. Her left-footed try from outside the box went up and over the crossbar for a goal kick. Occupying her usual spot down the right side, Theresa Nielsen whipped a couple of crosses into the box in the match's early stage, but neither linked up with a teammate. The teams traded chances in the 11th minute, starting with a Jodie Taylor run into the box. Chasing a bouncing ball, Taylor's efforts were stopped when Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith left her line to collect the ball.
Utah presented Seattle with a golden opportunity in the 12th minute when Sam Johnson committed a foul right outside the penalty box. Johnson's tackle earned her a yellow card and gave Rapinoe a spot kick from the edge of the box. Hoping to extend her club scoring record, Rapinoe drilled a shot but sent it over the crossbar. Royals FC came back in the 16th minute with the ball on Katie Stengel's foot. She centered a left-footed cross and slightly mishit it, sending the ball out behind the goal. Play halted shortly afterward when Utah midfielder Gunnhildur Jonsdottir went to the turf following a collision with Megan Oyster.
When play resumed, Nielsen and Jess Fishlock teamed up to steal the ball from Royals FC. The counter-attack began as Leon took possession and flew up the pitch. The Canadian forward skied a ball toward the middle, trying to play Rapinoe. Smith tracked the ball well and leapt to grab it just before it could land on Rapinoe's head. In the 23rd minute Fishlock threw her body in front of Desiree Scott's shot attempt.
Nielsen displayed great hustle to nab a loose ball in the 30th minute. Deep in the attacking third, Nielsen managed to get a cross into Rapinoe. Using a great first touch, Rapinoe settled the ball and readied herself to shoot. As she contacted the ball, Royals FC defender Katie Bowen blocked it away before it could reach the goal.
The 33rd minute brought another Rapinoe free kick in the attacking third. From about 35 yards out, she swung a ball to the back post. Hoping to pick out a teammate, Rapinoe's ball instead glided over their heads and out for a goal kick. Bev Yanez had a chance to put Seattle ahead in the 39th minute. Standing on the edge of the penalty box, she went for a left-footed rip and skipped ball just past the post.
In the 43rd minute, Lauren Barnes took a free kick for Reign FC. The Seattle veteran punched the ball into the box from 45 yards out. Her center back partner Megan Oyster got a head on the service, sending the ball straight into the air. Before anyone else could get it, Smith stepped forward to catch the parachuting ball. Seconds before halftime, both Rachel Corsie of Utah and Allie Long of Seattle earned yellow cards. Each team headed to the locker room after a physical first half with no goals to show for their efforts.
Utah's first scoring opportunity of the second half came quickly. A slight misplay by Lydia Williams caused the ball to roll toward Seattle's unattended goal. The Australian netminder raced back with Amy Rodriguez, keeping up with her stride-for-stride. When Rodriguez eventually reached the ball, she could only muster a shot from a difficult angle. With Williams breathing down her neck, the shot missed the frame and hit the side netting.
Fishlock, playing her first match back from injury, charged through Utah's midfield in the 51st minute. She laid the ball off to Yanez, who tried to turn and face the goal as she was stripped of the ball. Two minutes later, Seattle won a corner kick and sent Steph Catley to the flag to deliver the service.
Catley placed a beautiful in-swinging ball to the back post. Rapinoe, standing in perfect position, elevated and met the ball with her head. She re-directed the ball on frame, beating Smith and splashing Catley's cross into the net. This goal was Rapinoe's 34th with Reign FC, and second in her last two matches. The assist by Catley gives her a team-leading three on the season.
Playing with a one-goal lead, Seattle made the first substitution of the night. Jasmyne Spencer came on to replace Leon up top. Leon, making her first start with Seattle, played 61 minutes. Royals FC picked up their third yellow card of the match in the 66th minute when Jonsdottir was booked for a reckless tackle.
Spencer nearly doubled Seattle's lead in the 70th minute when she broke free down the left flank. On one of her first touches of the night, Spencer grounded a low cross toward a sea of teammates. A Utah defender kicked it away before it could reach the Reign FC attackers, giving Seattle a corner. The corner kick resulted in a vicious aerial duel between Fishlock and Sam Johnson, which sent Fishlock to the turf for several minutes. Fishlock was able to stay in the game after being treated by Seattle's medical staff.
Nielsen and Rapinoe would supply the next chance in the 76th minute. After corralling Nielsen's cross, Rapinoe got her foot around the ball and curved it for the upper corner of the goal. Her shot was nearly perfect, avoiding all Utah defenders and beating Smith, who could only watch. The shot hit the spot right where the crossbar and goalpost meet, just narrowly denying Rapinoe her second brace of 2018. The near-goal caromed out of play, bringing a dead ball. Laura Harvey used the stoppage to substitute Katrina Gorry in for Lo'eau LaBonta.
Before the match ended, Alyssa Kleiner replaced Jodie Taylor, marking Kleiner's fourth appearance in the last five matches. The final minutes of the match featured only substitutions and free kicks, with neither team generating much offense from open play. Spencer ripped a shot two minutes into stoppage time that would have added to Seattle's lead, only for it to get blocked away. After that, Utah pushed forward for one last hurrah that was blown dead by the final whistle.
Reign FC is on the road for its next two fixtures, starting with a match in Chicago on Saturday, July 14 at 5:00 p.m. PT. The team then finishes its season series with Orlando on July 21, before returning home to face Washington Spirit on Sunday, August 5. Tickets are for the match with Washington are available at www.reignfc.com/tickets.
Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. Utah Royals FC
Date: July 11, 2018
Venue: UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Weather: 72 degrees, sunny
Goals by Half 1 2 Total
SEA 0 1 1
UTA 0 0 0
SEA - Rapinoe, 54'
UTA - Johnson, 12'
UTA - Corsie, 45 + 2'
SEA - Long, 45 + 3'
UTA - Jonsdottir, 66'
Seattle Reign FC
Total shots: 9
Shots on goal: 1
Total Passes: 348
Passing Accuracy: 71.0%
Yellow cards: 1
Corner kicks: 2
Utah Royals FC
Total shots: 9
Shots on goal: 0
Total Passes: 336
Passing Accuracy: 67.6%
Yellow cards: 3
Corner kicks: 4
Seattle Reign FC
Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, Megan Oyster, Lauren Barnes, Theresa Nielsen, Jess Fishlock, Beverly Yanez (Kristen McNabb, 90 + 1'), Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe, Jodie Taylor (Alyssa Kleiner, 87'), Adriana Leon (Jasmyne Spencer, 61')
Substitutes Not Used: Morgan Andrews, Michelle Betos, Nahomi Kawasumi, Christen Westphal
Utah Royals FC
Abby Smith, Rachel Corsie, Becca Moros (Erika Tymrak, 90'), Sam Johnson, Katie Bowen, Desiree Scott, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, Lo'eau LaBonta (Katrina Gorry, 77') Christen Press, Katie Stengel (Brittany Ratcliffe, 85'), Amy Rodriguez
Substitutes Not Used: Nicole Barnhart, Taylor Lytle, Sydney Miramontez, Elise Thorsnses
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Ryan Jung, Adrienne McDonald
4th Official: Corbyn May
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