Making her season debut in place of regular starter Hope Solo, who was with the U.S. national team in preparation for the Women’s World Cup, Kopmeyer had four saves in Seattle’s win over Washington.
Haley Kopmeyer tried to keep calm Saturday.
Mundane errands and having coffee with a friend were intended to keep the Reign FC goalkeeper’s nerves steady. But replacing an Olympian in goal with the Reign needing a win after two road losses kept Kopmeyer antsy.
The second-year pro arrived three hours early for Seattle’s game against the Washington Spirit. It was Kopmeyer’s season debut, with regular starter Hope Solo joining the U.S. national team in preparation for the Women’s World Cup.
By the end of Saturday’s game, Kopmeyer had exhaled in relief as the Reign celebrated a 3-1 win in front of 2,703 at Memorial Stadium. Seattle improved to 2-2.
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“I definitely had the pregame jitters, and it was a 7 p.m. game, so I had them all day long,” said Kopmeyer, who had four saves. “The jitters always subside once I get here. So I got here uncomfortably early, and once I walked in, it’s like, take a deep breath and get the warmup in and feel it out that way.”
With Kopmeyer helping direct the defense, the Reign kept Spirit defender Crystal Dunn in check most of the game. She assisted on midfielder Joanna Lohman’s goal in the 63rd minute that rejuvenated Washington, closing the deficit to 2-1.
Seattle midfielder Kim Little responded with a cross to Jessica Fishlock, which she booted into the net in the 75th minute to make the score 3-1.
Fishlock was substituted out of the game at the 79th minute due to an apparent right-ankle injury. She was on crutches when leaving the field postgame and will be evaluated this week.
Reign coach Laura Harvey wasn’t concerned about losing Solo.
“We haven’t really spoke about Hope not being here, which is testament to Haley and her abilities,” Harvey said. “The work our goalkeeper coach and Hope have done with Haley last year has pushed her on, and she’s been very focused. I (had) the utmost confidence that she could show why we never really were worried when we knew we were going to have games without Hope.”
The Reign also played without forward Megan Rapinoe, who was with the national team.