Seattle Reign FC celebrated their first win at the final whistle of their 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Over two months after opening their inaugural National Women’s Soccer League campaign, Seattle Reign FC finally have their first win. The team celebrated in front of a crowd of 2,012 at Dilboy Stadium upon the final whistle, as the beleaguered Breakers found themselves coming up short once again.
Christine Nairn scored the club’s first game-winning goal in the 86th minute, redirecting a low cross from Liz Bogus to give Reign FC a 2-1 win. The goal was the second in eight minutes for Seattle, which improved to 1-9-2 (5 pts.) with the win.
Mariah Nogueira gave Boston the lead early in the second half when she headed a ball past Hope Solo in the 51st minute, but Jessica Fishlock tied the game for Seattle in the 78th minute to give Reign FC hope of their first three points.
“We feel that we’ve got something special in Seattle, and we’ve been waiting to show people what that is,” Seattle coach Laura Harvey said. “Hopefully now we can keep up from tonight and show exactly who we are.”
Fishlock tapped in a rebound after Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher couldn’t handle a viscous free kick from Megan Rapinoe, who gave the Breakers trouble all night on Boston’s right side. Rapinoe hit the upper corner — where the crossbar meets the post — in the 80th minute.
“I’ve been really happy with how the team has played,” Rapinoe said. “I thought we were unlucky not to get the win in Rochester (on Sunday). I thought we played really well there and I think that it’s a deserved win here.
Solo made seven saves on a her most active night since returning from left wrist surgery in late May. Solo made what could be the save of the year thus far in the 47th minute when she denied Heather O’Reilly on an acrobatic dive. O’Reilly made a great diagonal run to get behind and chipped her first touch to herself and over Solo. It looked like an easy tap-in for O’Reilly from there, but Solo turned right around and leaped to get a forearm to the shot, deflecting the ball off the post and keeping it out of net.
“Like any team, Seattle’s going to have some opportunities, we’re going to have some opportunities and it’s about finishing,” Breakers coach Lisa Cole said.
“I also felt like we got a little bit unlucky. I felt like the refs had too much impact on the game. That’s been kind of the story for us, that the guys who are supposed to be managing the game are actually impacting the game.”
The loss leaves Boston (35-3, 12 pts.) winless in their last five games.
“We have to take some accountability for the fact that — what are thing things? We are doing some things really well and then we are letting off the pedal,” Cole said. “We have to play 90 minutes — or 94 minutes, it seems like — and play them well. Taking responsibility. We may not get a lucky break here. We may not get this to happen. But do we want to use excuses or do we want to have our play just speak for itself?”