She scored in the 88th minute off an assist from Megan Rapinoe to give Seattle its first win since May 26.
After 88 minutes of scoreless soccer, Megan Rapinoe found Jodie Taylor in close range to net the match’s only goal.
Better late than never, right?
Seattle Reign FC’s one-goal lead held through five minutes of stoppage time to lift the club over its rival, Portland Thorns FC, 1-0 in a thrilling National Women’s Soccer League match at Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.
The three points Seattle earned were much needed, as the club had not notched a win since May 26. The Reign (6-3-5, 23 points) regained second place in the NWSL standings and improved to 2-0 against Portland (5-5-5, 20), which dropped to fifth place.
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“I was very happy with the way we performed and the way we stepped up,” Reign coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “I think our players knew the Thorns were going to come in here and hustle, run, and try to be more physical, so we knew that we had to be better than them at that and then play the game that we’re good at.”
Despite leaving Seattle with a loss, the Thorns had chances to take the lead, particularly in the first half and early in the second half.
On a fast break in the 29th minute, Portland’s Hayley Raso’s close-range header off a cross from Meghan Klingenberg almost resulted in a goal, but the header went wide left. Raso also had a bullet of a shot go high early in the second half.
A header from Ana Crnogorcevic in the 44th minute got past Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams, but Crnogorcevic was ruled offside.
Otherwise, the Reign dominated possession and the scoring opportunities, and Williams had a relatively quiet night, ending the match with no saves.
Seattle defender Megan Oyster did block a shot from the NWSL’s top-scorer, Christina Sinclair, in the fourth minute.
The match marks the Reign’s seventh shutout of the season and its fifth in six games.
On the offensive end, Rapinoe had three of the Reign’s first five shots and ended the night with six.
The club’s best early scoring opportunity came in the 39th minute, when Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch saved Beverley Yanez’s header off her torso, and the ball rolled out of bounds.
Before Taylor’s goal, the Reign attack had attempted several shots late in the second half, though it could not get anything through. Rapinoe sent a shot wide right in the 74th, and minutes later shots from Rumi Utsugi and Rapinoe went high.
Setting aside Taylor’s late goal, Franch, who ended the match with eight saves, had an impressive outing and stepped up against a dominant Reign attack.
“I felt that with exception of three or four minutes in the second half where we lost momentum, we were on the front foot the whole time,” Andonovski said. “We felt like the goal was coming. I’m just glad that it did come.”