The midfielder’s successful penalty kick gave her 33 goals, the most in Seattle franchise history. The shot to the left corner of the net in the 56th minute was the go-ahead goal in an eventual 3-1 victory for Seattle
With a swift kick, Megan Rapinoe entered the Seattle Reign FC record book.
The midfielder’s successful penalty kick in the second half against the Houston Dash gave her 33 goals, the most scored in NWSL play in Seattle franchise history.
The shot to the left corner of the net in the 56th minute was the go-ahead goal in an eventual 3-1 victory for Seattle at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
“Being able to play with one team this whole time and build something like that is really cool,” Rapinoe said. “Going up after going down one early on, that’s more important.”
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Rapinoe passed Kim Little’s 32 goals for Seattle. The latter transferred from the Reign to Arsenal Ladies in 2016, signing a lucrative multiyear contract.
Seattle dominated possession of the ball in the opening half, but it was mainly tangled within Houston’s defense. The Dash caught the Reign off-guard when midfielder Sofia Huerta sent a corner kick to defender Amber Brooks, who put the ball in the net in the 12th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Seattle scored the equalizer in the 38th minute when Rapinoe tossed the ball in and striker Jodie Taylor used a soft tap to get the ball behind Houston’s defense and into the net. She later said the sun made it difficult to see the goal and felt fortunate it went in.
“I lost the ball multiple times,” Taylor said. “But if I couldn’t see, then (goalkeeper Jane Campbell) couldn’t see either.”
Rapinoe also had an assist on the third goal when she helped draw Campbell out of the net and Allie Long used a light touch to get the ball in the right side of the net.
“It was a difficult game to play,” Reign coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “I told our players that these are games where you have to be very accurate in everything you do because they set up low blocking and it’s very hard to break it. I’m happy we were patient and we kept trying.”
Rapinoe did have a sour note on her historic night when she was issued a yellow card in stoppage time in the second half for kicking the ball out after being called offsides. It was an ongoing rift with the officials during the match. In the opening half, she ran downfield arguing her case with the referee that could’ve resulted in a warning.
The Dash defeated the Reign 2-1 in the first meeting of the season in May. Reserve midfielder Veronica Latsko scored the winning goal in stoppage time.
Houston (4-6-5) entered the match Saturday after a come-from-behind victory against Orlando for momentum in the NWSL standings. Instead, Seattle (7-3-5) picked up the three points to remain in second place with 26 points.
Seattle concludes its three-game homestand against Utah on Wednesday.
The Reign should see the return of midfielder Jess Fishlock (right quad strain), but might be without her replacement, Elizabeth Addo, due to a leg injury suffered against Houston.
“She’s being evaluated,” Andonovski said of Addo. “If this was a playoff game, (Jess) would have played, no question. But we don’t want to have her for one or two games and then not have her for six. We’d rather wait and have her for the rest of the season.”