SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (March 25, 2018) — After a 12-goal season last year, Megan Rapinoe is ready to reach for a higher number.
Rapinoe didn’t miss a beat from last season to this season. Only seven minutes in the Seattle Reign’s match against the Washington Spirit, Rapinoe put the opening goal past Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
The goal was unassisted, as Rapinoe took it on a free kick.
— NWSL (@NWSL) March 25, 2018
Megan Rapinoe Shines in Seattle Reign’s 2-1 Win Over Washington Spirit
Seattle doubled their lead in the first half, with Jodie Taylor scoring off a Rapinoe assist. Taylor joined the team during the off-season from Arsenal Ladies.
With the minutes waning in the first half, Washington began building up their offense. Number one overall draft pick Andi Sullivan blasted a shot from outside the box. However, Michelle Betos recorded the save.
In the second half, Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra made the decision to bring in Joanna Lohman for Tori Huster.
The appearance was Lohman’s first in over a year, as she tore her ACL at the beginning of last season.
Her presence was known immediately, picking up the pace for Washington. In the 68th minute, Lohman’s efforts were rewarded.
Off an assist by Estefanía Banini, Lohman tacked on the Spirit’s lone goal inside the box.
- The goalkeepers were studs: A combined total of 18 saves in one NWSL match? Give Aubrey Bledsoe and Michelle Betos some credit. Bledsoe is the undisputed starter for Washington. However, Reign head coach Vlatko Andonovski is going to have a tough decision to make when Lydia Williams returns.
- Joanna Lohman deserved her goal: Nobody deserved a goal more in this match than Lohman. She was one of many players (including Amy Rodriguez) to tear their ACL at the beginning of last season. Even Seattle players couldn’t help but appreciate the 35-year-old’s strike.
- Washington’s young attack will need time: Despite having a boatload of talent between Ashley Hatch, Mallory Pugh, and Andi Sullivan, the young attack for Washington needs to be patient. Pugh is the only returner to this club, and they still need to add Rose Lavelle when she returns from injury. Patience will pay off for Washington this season.
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) March 25, 2018