Seattle Sets Record With Another Shutout

Hope Solo notched another clean sheet Saturday to give the Seattle Reign their fourth in a row, setting a new team record and tying the NWSL record for most consecutive shutouts.

In front of 3,041 spectators at Swope Soccer Village, the visiting Reign fought the FC Kansas City Blues to a 0-0 draw. Thanks to defense as smothering as the heat, Seattle’s unbeaten streak sits at five, dating back to an exhibition game in mid-May.

Hope earned Player of the Match for the second time in as many games, collecting one save as the Reign outshot the Blues 6-5 in a match between medal winners.

Seattle, the two-time defending NWSL Shield winner, and FC Kansas City, the two-time defending League Champion, wasted no time getting started.

The Reign entered attack mode early, mustering four corners in the first eight minutes. They couldn’t get much going after that, as FC Kansas City ultimately outshot Seattle 13-5 in corner kicks.

Blues midfielder Heather O’Reilly proved to be pesky on offense throughout the evening. In the 28th minute, O’Reilly ran the ball up the right side before her shot missed the far post.

O’Reilly had help on her next attempt. In the 36th minute, forward Shea Groom passed off to O’Reilly on the break, but she overran her line and her shot hit the side netting. Five minutes later, Hope collected O’Reilly’s corner kick with ease.

Seattle ended the first half with momentum, making noise in the 45th minute. Keelin Winters pinpointed a pass to fellow midfielder Havana Solaun, whose header from the right corner of the goalie box missed high.

The second half started like the first ended for Seattle — with energy. Forward Merritt Matthias, who led the team with two shots on goal, fired from outside the 18 in the 57th minute. But goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart quelled the threat with her third save of the night.

On offense, O’Reilly’s persistence bled into the second half. In the 75th minute, she fired a shot that Solo suppressed.

Two minutes later, Hope and Groom collided while vying for a ball that defender Desiree Scott had lofted into the box. Hope sprouted up immediately after the collision, while Groom took some time to regroup.

Both teams were held scoreless the remainder of the match, as Seattle’s all-time record versus FC Kansas City moved to 3-5-3.

NEXT UP

Hope will resume training for the 2016 Summer Olympics with the United States Women’s National Team. They face South Africa for the first time in team history in Chicago on Saturday, July 9 before facing Costa Rica in Kansas City on Friday, July 22.

Hope is one shutout shy of becoming the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to to reach 100.

Meanwhile, the Reign (3-3-4) next host the Boston Breakers (1-8-1) at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, July 2 at 7 p.m. PT.

The Breakers have struggled this season, with their lone win coming against FC Kansas City on May 22. In their most recent outing, they fell at home 7-1 to Western New York on Friday.

Seattle and Boston last met in Massachusetts, with the Reign coming away with a 3-1 win on April 24. Kim Little assisted on the first two goals before netting the third, as Hope earned the win with three saves.

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