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Originally published May 14, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Page modified May 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM

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Reign FC remains undefeated, beating FC Kansas City 3-2

Reign FC kept its season perfect Wednesday, battling to a 3-2 home win against FC Kansas City after blowing an early two-goal lead in front of 2,875 on a warm evening at Memorial Stadium.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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The dream start continues, even after a little adversity.

Reign FC kept its season perfect Wednesday, battling to a 3-2 home win against FC Kansas City after blowing an early two-goal lead in front of 2,875 on a warm evening at Memorial Stadium.

Seattle improved to a glittering 7-0, extending the longest winning streak in the two-year history of the National Women’s Soccer League. The team has outscored opponents 16-4 this season, having trailed for only two minutes.

Beating Kansas City, in particular, was a breakthrough for the Reign, which was swept in the head-to-head series last season. Critics had also raised doubts regarding the strength of Seattle’s schedule these first few months.

“This team is probably the last sort of question we needed to answer,” coach Laura Harvey told her players before the game.

The Reign held a 2-1 lead to start the second half, but the visiting Blues tied the game in the 61st minute behind a thunderous strike from outside the penalty box by Erika Tymrak. The long-range effort sailed into the top corner of the net, leaving goalkeeper Hope Solo with no chance for a save.

The equalizer marked the first time this season Seattle had allowed two goals in a game, having conceded just twice in the first six games combined.

The Reign responded with a handful of attacking chances. The breakthrough came in the 76th minute when Seattle’s Kiersten Dallstream swung in a perfect cross to midfielder Keelin Winters, whose header just eluded diving goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart as it rolled into the corner of the goal for the winner.

“With every game we’re learning something new and something new about ourselves,” Winters said. “We did blow a 2-0 lead, and one thing we could have done was hang our heads and give up and be happy with a tie. That’s not something that’s in this group.”

The Reign’s 21 points in the standings are nearly double that of second-place Portland (3-1-2, 11 points).

Seattle opened the scoring in the 16th minute when a free kick by Kim Little bounced around and eventually fell to the feet of an open Winters. An initial shot was saved, but defender Kendall Fletcher was there to put away the rebound — and perform her back-flip celebration.

The lead doubled in the 20th minute when the Reign got a penalty kick. Little hammered it for her sixth goal of the season, tied for the NWSL lead.

Kansas City got a goal in the 44th minute, also on a penalty kick, by Blues midfielder Lauren Holiday.

“It would’ve been ideal to go in at halftime 2-0 up, and that was disappointing,” Little said, “ ... but again, we showed what great players we have.”

Notes

• Reign FC’s next game is on the road May 21 at Kansas City.

• Two U.S. internationals were out injured for Seattle: Megan Rapinoe missed her sixth straight game with a foot injury and Stephanie Cox was out with a sprained ankle. Nahomi Kawasumi is away with the Japanese national team.



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