TUKWILA – Things look like they’re beginning to fall into place for Reign FC.
The Reign collected the first home win of its inaugural campaign Saturday in front of 2,318 at Starfire Stadium, a 3-1 victory against the Chicago Red Stars. The win kept Seattle (2-9-2) unbeaten in its last three games and looked like the work of a team that belongs in the NWSL rather than a team desperate for a home goal.
In Megan Rapinoe’s home debut, Seattle struck first when Kennya Cordner, also making her home debut, was dragged down inside the Chicago goal area.
Defender Kaylyn Kyle stepped up to take the penalty in the 51st minute and slotted it into the net as Red Stars goalkeeper Erin McLeod dived the opposite direction. It was also the first time the Reign scored at home since May 16.
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“I just stuck with what I know,” said Kyle, who has played with McLeod on the Canadian national team. “I’ve taken a couple against her in training — it’s always tough with PKs.”
Reign forward Jessica Fishlock doubled Seattle’s tally in the 59th minute when the Welsh forward found herself unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. Fishlock turned, teed up a shot and fired into the upper-left corner of the Red Stars net.
Rapinoe, who came on in the 54th minute, rounded out the scoring in the 92nd minute with her first goal with the Reign.
“I joke with the girls that I’m undefeated on this team, and I don’t think they thought it was too funny,” said Rapinoe. “If we look at the whole thing and say we have to win out to make the playoffs, it’s a bit daunting. But game-by-game I think any given team can beat any team in this league.”
Chicago’s Michelle Wenino scored in the 83rd minute, preventing Reign shot-stopper Hope Solo from keeping her first clean sheet with the club.
The Reign, now with eight points in NWSL play, jumped out of last place in the league standings, moving past Washington.