The Seattle Reign’s unbeaten streak hit four Sunday after its match with Sky Blue FC ended in a 0-0 draw. Hope Solo was named Player of the Match after racking up four outstanding saves in front of 1,547 spectators at Yurcak Field.
Defense was strong on both sides throughout the match. In the other net, goalkeeper Caroline Stanley collected three saves, as Reign FC (3-3-3) outshot Sky Blue FC (2-3-4), 14-11.
Sky Blue showed a lot of life early. In the 12th minute, midfielder Taylor Lytle took a point blank shot that Hope dove for and tipped high, where it ricocheted off the crossbar. Lytle collected her own rebound from about 18 yards and took aim for the bottom right corner of the net on her second chance, but Hope kept the ball in front of her for the save to end the threat.
The crossbar proved to be stingy minutes later on the other end of the pitch. After an impressive passing sequence, midfielder Jessica Fishlock hit the underside of the post, as the match remained scoreless.
In the 37th minute, Hope defended well against an international teammate, as Kelley O’Hara bounced a shot into her diving arms.
Just as Sky Blue FC had at the start of the game, they came out aggressive in the second half.
In the 54th minute, forward Leah Galton used her left foot to fire from just outside the goalie box, but Hope collected the ball to quell another threat.
Minutes later, Seattle forward Beverly Yanez ran the ball down the pitch before passing off to midfielder Kim Little, but the 2014 MVP’s shot was saved by Stanley. Little stayed aggressive on offense, dribbling around defenders to create space for another well-placed shot in the 63rd minute. But again, her attempt was deflected and the score remained knotted at nil-nil.
Seattle fans faced a scare in the 68th minute when O’Hara found the back of the net, but she was ruled offside and the score stayed 0-0, where it remained through the final 20-plus minutes to the last whistle.
1. Chicago Red Stars (18)
2. Portland Thorns (17)
3. Washington Spirit (17)
4. Western New York Flash (15)
5. Orlando Pride (12)
6. Seattle Reign FC (12)
7. Sky Blue FC (10)
8. FC Kansas City (9)
9. Houston Dash (7)
10. Boston Breakers (4)
Hope and the Reign head to Missouri to face rival FC Kansas City next Saturday.
It’s yet another rematch of the last two NWSL championship games between the two-time defending NWSL Shield winning Reign and the two-time defending NWSL champion Blues.
Seattle and FC Kansas City last met on May 1, with the Reign coming out on top, 1-0. Kim Little scored in the 56th minute, and Hope tallied one save to earn the win.
The latest chapter in the rivalry will kick off from Swope Soccer Village is set for 4 p.m. PT.