Hope Solo saved a late penalty shot and Megan Rapinoe scored the game-winner as the Seattle Reign FC defeated the Washington Spirit 2-1 in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals on Sunday night.
Solo made her crucial save in 79th minute when she deflected Diana Matheson’s attempt into the crossbar. Seattle (17-2-6) then safely cleared the deflection.
Rapinoe set herself up for the go-ahead goal 3 minutes later after intercepting defender Toni Pressley in the Spirit backfield.
Kim Little pulled Seattle even at 1-1 on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute. Her first effort was good, but waved off due to encroachment. She made the second try as well.
The Spirit opened the scoring when Veronica Perez got her first goal of the season past Solo in the 66th minute.
The Reign advanced to face FC Kansas City in the championship game next Sunday.