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Reign stay in 2nd after 1-1 draw with the Pride
Seattle Reign FC stay in second place
Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger celebrated her 100th NWSL appearance on Saturday. (Photo credit:
Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger celebrated her 100th NWSL appearance on Saturday. (Photo credit:

The Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign FC played to a 1-1 draw in NWSL Week 17 action at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday. The Reign entered the match in second place in the league standings with 29 points, while the Pride sat just below them with 28 points. With the draw, the Reign pull ahead to 30 points and an 8-4-6 overall record and the Pride remain just a point behind with 29 and an overall record of 8-6-5.

With everything and more to play for, with the playoffs in near sight and an international break next week, both sides battled till the final whistle. The Pride were without goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and forward Alex Morgan who reported to camp for the U.S. women’s national team. For Seattle Reign FC, Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long have also been named to the roster and did not play on Saturday. The Pride welcomed back Marta to the pitch, after facing suspension following a red card vs. the Houston Dash in Week 14. Marta led both sides on the night in distribution with a 92.6% on 27 total passes.

The Pride opened up scoring on their home pitch thanks to defender Toni Pressley‘s touch and placement goal in the 21st minute.

This was Pressley’s first goal of the season and came in her second start of the year for the Pride. The goal started form initial flank work from Marta. Marta beat her defender one on one and then crossed it into the mix where several Pride players were crashing. Chioma Ubogagu got a hold of it on the left side and then crossed it into the box where Pressley was center and unmarked.

Reign FC ‘s best response came in the 36th minute when Jess Fishlock and Jodie Taylor combined in the box after Ubogagu turned the ball over just outside the box. Fishlock fed Taylor a nicely weighted ball in, but Taylor’s shot was saved by Orlando Pride goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.

Kopmeyer earned her second start of the season, her first also being against the Reign FC when the teams played in June.

On the other side of the pitch in net, Reign FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams also had to weed through her fair share of action in the first 45 minutes. The Australian goalkeeper, who recently was named to the roster for the Tournament of Nations, had to come up big just before the break when Ubogagu took a near post blast.

At the break, despite trailing by one, the Reign finished with seven chances to the Pride’s five.

The second half kicked off and Taylor was pressing to get her team on the board. In the 56th minute Taylor nearly scored the equalizer, but the Pride had all women behind the ball to keep the lead.

Taylor eventually got hers when she was able to finish in the 70th minute for her sixth goal of the season. Nahomi Kawasumi chipped a ball into the box with her left foot and Taylor finished it first time to make it even in Orlando.

“Going into the second half we knew we had to come out fighting we knew we had to go and get a goal back and I feel we were a bit unfortunate to not get a second,” Taylor said in a post-game interview with Dalen Cuff.

Taylor finished the match with six shots, four on target and three passes. Kawasumi had the best passing on the night for her side with 84.6% on 26 passes and made five crosses. Seattle finished with 18 shots to Orlando’s 12, and Kopmeyer made six saves on the night and Williams collected three. The Reign will return to NWSL play after the international break on August 5 vs. the Washington Spirit and the Pride will next face Sky Blue FC on that Sunday as well.

This story will be updated.

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