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Washington Spirit falls to Seattle Reign on first West Coast trip of 2017

SEATTLE (May 13, 2017) – The Washington Spirit fell 6-2 to host Seattle Reign FC on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in the teams’ first meeting of the season.

Seattle midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi had a major impact, scoring a goal and recording four assists in the victory. Kawasumi assisted Christine Nairn and Beverly Yanez on goals in the 20th and 35th minutes respectively, giving the Reign a 2-0 halftime lead.

Washington battled back in the second half, narrowing Seattle’s lead to 2-1 in the 60th minute when forward Cheyna Williams earned a penalty kick, drawing a handball from defender Rachel Corsie in the box. Havana Solaun converted the penalty for the Spirit, beating Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer to find the net for the second match in a row.

However, Seattle answered back just nine minutes later, extending the lead to 3-1 as U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe assisted Kawasumi on a strong combination play. That would prove to be the first of four goals in an 11-minute stretch for Seattle, as Washington had to assume more risk defensively in an effort to close the deficit.

After going down 6-1, the Spirit continued to compete and added another tally in the 88th minute, when midfielder Kristie Mewis netted her first goal as a member of the team, coming off an assist from defender Whitney Church.

“If we had scored a second goal when it was 2-1 I think we could have come away with a win, but credit to Seattle for staying aggressive and punishing us defensively,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “I was proud of our team for fighting until the finish and getting another goal at the end.”

Rapinoe and forward Katie Johnson largely propelled the Reign during the second half. Rapinoe netted two goals in a five-minute span from the 71st to 76th minutes, and Johnson notched a pair of assists. Lindsay Elston was the final goal scorer for Seattle, putting one away in the 79th minute.

Washington’s two scorers, Solaun and Mewis, led the Spirit with two shots on goal each. Defender Kassey Kallman saw her NWSL record consecutive minutes played streak come to an end in the 59th minute when she was subbed off for Arielle Ship. Kallman’s record-breaking streak, which started in 2014, came to a close at 4,018 straight minutes of regular season competition.

The Spirit will return to action next Saturday, May 20 when the club hosts FC Kansas City at the Maryland SoccerPlex’s Maureen Hendricks Field. The match could mark the highly-anticipated professional debut of U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh, who is set to join the Spirit this week after being acquired by the club via the NWSL’s Distribution Process. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.  [TICKETS]

Tickets for all Spirit home matches are available now at https://tickets.washingtonspirit.com.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Seattle Reign FC (2-1-2, 8 pts) vs. Washington Spirit (1-3-1, 4 pts)
Date: May 13, 2017
Venue: Memorial Stadium
Kickoff: 1:00 pm PT
Attendance: 3,007
Weather: Cloudy

Scoring Summary:

1st Half
SEA – Nairn (Kawasumi) 20’
SEA – Yanez (Kawasumi) 35’

2nd Half
WAS – Solaun (PK) 60’
SEA – Kawasumi (Rapinoe) 68’
SEA – Rapinoe (Kawasumi) 71’
SEA – Rapinoe (Johnson) 76’
SEA – Elston (Kawasumi) 79’
BOS – Mewis (Church) 88’

Lineups:
Seattle Reign FC: Kopmeyer, Corsie, Barnes, Stott, Pickett, Fishlock, Utsugi, Nairn (Elston 77’), Rapinoe (Dallstream 81’), Yanez (Johnson 70’), Kawasumi
Substitutes Not Used: Reed, Schiffel, Hahn, McNabb

Washington Spirit: Labbé, Zadorsky, Church, Johnson, Kallman (Ship 59’), Huster, Sigvardsen Jensen (Mewis 73’), Solaun, Williams (Kleiner 81’), Ordega, Dougherty Howard
Substitutes Not Used: Haracic, Agnew, Thomas

Stats Summary: SEA/WAS
Shots: 20 / 10
Shots on Goal: 10 / 4
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 1 / 10
Fouls: 9 / 7
Offside: 2 / 6

Misconduct Summary: None

Officials:
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Joshua Haimes, Chris Elliott
Fourth Official: Seth Martin