Sunday, June 30, 2013
TUKWILA — Things look like they’re beginning to fall into place for Reign FC.
Seattle’s three-game unbeaten streak, including wins in its last two games, is a small spurt, but the Reign (2-9-2) is beginning to look like a team that belongs in the NWSL.
The Reign collected the first home win of its inaugural campaign Saturday at Starfire Stadium, etching out a 3-1 victory against the Chicago Red Stars.
Seattle may have a bit more improving to do before it challenges the league heavyweights, but judging by Saturday’s contest and recent form, the Reign may be able to ascend in the standings.
In Megan Rapinoe’s home debut, Seattle threatened early but didn’t convert until the second half, when Kennya Cordner, also making her home debut, was dragged down inside the Chicago goal area.
Defender Kaylyn Kyle stepped up to take the penalty in the 51st minute and slotted it into the net as Red Stars goalkeeper Erin McLeod dived the opposite direction. Kyle’s first regular-season goal was also the first time the Reign scored at home since May 16.
Rapinoe entered the game two minutes later and provided an additional spark to the Seattle attack.
Reign forward Jessica Fishlock doubled Seattle’s tally in the 59th minute when the Welsh forward found herself unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. Fishlock turned, teed up a shot and fired into the upper-left corner of the Red Stars net.
Rapinoe rounded out the scoring in the 92nd minute with her first goal with the Reign.
In her fifth appearance, Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo had eight saves.
The Reign, now with eight points in NWSL play, jumped out of last place in the league standings, moving past Washington. Seattle will host the Boston Breakers Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Starfire Stadium.