FC Kansas City (8-4-5, 29 pts.) and the Seattle Reign (4-10-3, 15 pts.) played their final match against each other Saturday, ending in a 2-0 victory for the Blues. Until Saturday, Seattle had not lost a match with Megan Rapinoe on the pitch, but the FCKC attack and strong defense proved too much for the Reign.
The Blues put the pressure on Hope Solo and the Reign early, and had their first goal-scoring opportunity in the fifth minute. Erika Tymrak unleashed a beautiful through pass to Merritt Mathias, forcing Solo off her line to deflect the ball out of bounds for a corner. Just minutes later, Lauren Holiday worked the ball through the midfield and sent a leading pass toward the streaking Melissa Henderson, again forcing Solo off her line in a hurry.
Tymrak and Holiday continued their attack throughout the first half, and each fed the other at the top of the 18 yard box as shot after shot found the left post. The Blues’ formidable midfielders finally broke through in the 39th minute. Tymrak again found Holiday waiting at the top of the 18 yard box and crossed from the right side of the field. Holiday paused for a moment to consider her shot, then blasted the ball into the right corner of the goal and past a diving Hope Solo. Holiday now sits atop the league leaderboard with 10 goals on the season and has scored in her last five matches.
Over the past several matches, FCKC sat back on their leads and allowed late goals by their opponents to force draws. Saturday, they forced their opponents to be on the defensive. In the 86th minute and without immediate support from her teammates, Erika Tymrak dribbled her way around four Seattle defenders, shot low, and scored her sixth goal on the season.
The victory moved the Blues into second place for less than 24 hours, when the Portland win sent them back into third. FCKC stay at home for their midweek match against the Boston Breakers at 7:35pm CT on Wednesday. Seattle will try to keep their playoff hopes alive with a victory when they take on the Chicago Red Stars on Thursday at 7:00pm PT.