The months changed along with the venue, but the result was once again 4-1 in favor of Seattle Reign FC against the Houston Dash on Wednesday night at Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium. The two teams played to an identical score one week ago on July 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Japanese international Nahomi Kawasumi powered the Reign on this occasion, scoring the first two goals of the night and setting up the third as the NWSL Shield winners continued their dominant run through the regular season.
Houston started the match fearlessly with unfinished opportunities created by Kealia Ohai working down the sideline. Houston’s best chance of the first half came from a Tiffany McCarty header, who found herself beyond Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer in the 13th minute only to have the ball headed off the goalline by Lauren Barnes.
The tide shifted towards Seattle in the 32nd minute when Kawasumi received the ball at her feet right near the six yard box off of a Kim Little long ball and effortlessly placed the ball past Houston’s Bianca Henninger.
Kawasumi doubled the score merely three minutes later with another ball over the top of the Dash defense, this time from Jessica Fishlock, then she caught Henninger off her line and played a textbook volley into the back of the net from 18 yards out.
Kawasumi again extended the Reign’s lead over Houston in the 39th minute of the game, finding Bev Goebel in front of the net, who then shimmied past Henninger to an open net to make the lead 3-0.
Little found herself completely alone with plenty of field to spare in the 63rd minute of the match as she drilled down the sideline towards the goal, pulling Henninger off of her line and slotting the ball in the back of the net to bring Seattle’s lead to four.
The Dash continued to fight to get on the scoreboard throughout the game and finally pulled through in the 83rd minute when Nina Burger finished a Marissa Diggs cross with the outside of her boot for her third goal of the year. Houston knocked on Seattle’s door once more in the 90th minutes when Kaylyn Kyle was on the receiving end of a Houston cross on the edge of the six yard box. Her first-time shot from point-blank range went straight to Kopmeyer.
Both teams now prepare for their final home games of the regular season on Saturday. The Dash return to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on Sky Blue FC, while the Reign remain in Seattle to play host to the Washington Spirit.
Houston Dash (5-13-3; 18 points) at Seattle Reign FC (16-1-5; 53 points)
NWSL regular season
August 6, 2014—Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium, Seattle, Washington
Seattle: Nahomi Kawasumi 8 (Kim Little 7) 31
Seattle: Nahomi Kawasumi 9 (Jessica Fishlock 7) 34
Seattle: Beverly Goebel (Nahomi Kawasumi 5) 40
Seattle: Kim Little 15 (unassisted) 63
Houston: Nina Burger 3 (Marissa Diggs 1) 83
Houston Dash: Bianca Henninger; Arianna Romero, Marissa Diggs, Whitney Engen, Stephanie Ochs; Kaylyn Kyle, Becky Edwards, Kika Toulouse (Kelly McFarlane 46); Tiffany McCarty, Melissa Henderson (Jordan Jackson 46), Kealia Ohai (Nina Burger 65)
Unused substitutes: Erin McLeod, Ella Masar, Osinachi Ohale, Rafaelle Souza
Seattle Reign FC: Haley Kopmeyer; Lauren Barnes (Megan Brigman 77), Elli Reed (Danielle Foxhoven 67), Stephanie Cox, Kendall Fletcher; Keelin Winters, Jessica Fishlock, Kim Little (Megan Rapinoe 67), Beverly Goebel, Kiersten Dallstream, Nahomi Kawasumi
Unused substitutes: Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, Kate Deines, Mariah Nogueira
HOU: Kaylyn Kyle (caution) 66
Referee: Michael Zapata
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Apolinar Mariscal
Fourth Official: Chipalo Street