Rapinoe nets hat trick, Seattle tops Sky Blue 5-4 in dramatic fashion
Rapinoe takes over the league lead in goals as the Reign win a wild one at home
Seattle Reign FC Megan Rapinoe netted a hat trick in Seattle's 5-4 win over Sky Blue FC. (Photo credit: Stephen Brashear/isiphotos.com)
Seattle Reign FC Megan Rapinoe netted a hat trick in Seattle's 5-4 win over Sky Blue FC. (Photo credit: Stephen Brashear/isiphotos.com)

Megan Rapinoe’s hat trick led Seattle Reign FC to a dramatic 5-4 home win over Sky Blue FC on Saturday night in front of a crowd 4,464 at Memorial Stadium. Rapinoe scored the first, second and ninth goals of the match as Seattle escaped with a win after losing a 4-0 lead.

Rapinoe’s final goal — the game-winner — came in the 87th minute to help the Reign to the wild 5-4 win. The Reign were up 4-0 in the 56th minute, but conceded four goals over the next 20 minutes before the Rapinoe winner at the end. Rapinoe now leads the NWSL with 12 goals on the season.

The Seattle forward kicked off the scoring in the 27th minute with her tenth goal of the season, directly off a free kick. Following a foul on Nahomi Kawasumi by Nikki Stanton about 30 yards from goal, Rapinoe stepped up to take the free kick. Rapinoe bent it with her right foot over the wall and into the upper left corner of the box, beating a leaping Kailen Sheridan to give the Reign a 1-0 lead.

The first half ended 1-0, but the goals came fast and furious once the second half began.

In the 46th minute, Rapinoe sent a pass to forward Beverly Yanez at the top of the 18. Yanez dribbled into the box and a foul was called as she was tackled in the box by two Sky Blue defenders. Rapinoe took the penalty kick and sent it to the lower left corner of the goal. Sheridan got a hand on it, but the ball hit the near post and spun back across and over the line to put the Reign up 2-0. It was Rapinoe’s 11th goal of the season, moving her one ahead of Kerr — for the moment.

Two minutes later, Yanez scored a goal of her own, heading home a cross from Nahomi Kawasumi to give Seattle the 3-0 lead. The assist was Kawasumi’s league-leading seventh of the season. 

In the 56th minute, the Reign went up 4-0 thanks to a Sky Blue FC own goal as Erica Skroski redirected a cross from Rapinoe into her own net. Rapinoe started the play by dribbling down the left wing and sending a cross into the box. Kawasumi tried to make a play on it, but couldn’t, and the ball found Skroski, who knocked into the net with her knee.

But — as we’ve seen so many times this season — Sky Blue FC would not give up. Just two weeks after becoming the second team in league history to win after being down 3-0, Sky Blue was not going down without a fight on Saturday night in Seattle.

In the 60th minute, Reign defender Merritt Mathias fouled Leah Galton just inside the box. Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O’Hara converted the penalty kick to put Sky Blue on the board.

Just four minutes later, Galton pulled Sky Blue to within two. O’Hara took a shot that was saved by Reign FC goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer — but the rebound went to Galton, who tapped it in to make it 4-2.

Then in the 72nd minute, Daphne Corboz cut the lead to 4-3 after a clearance attempt by Kristen McNabb bounced to Corboz near the penalty spot. Sky Blue FC was within one, just 16 minutes after going down 4-0.

In the 76th minute, Sam Kerr — the two-time reigning Player of the Month – tied the game with a header for her 11th goal of the season, which tied her — for the moment — with Rapinoe for the league lead.

Kerr, whose hat trick won it for Sky Blue FC two weeks ago, and whose 90th minute header salvaged a draw last week, appeared to be the hero yet again for Sky Blue as the Jersey side had erased a 4-0 deficit.

Improbably, it was now 4-4.

It’s the first time in NWSL history that a team rallied from being down four goals to tie the match. The Sky Blue FC late-game magic seemed to taking hold yet again.

But Megan Rapinoe had other ideas.

In the 87th minute, following a quick give-and-go with rookie Katie Johnson that left Rapinoe open at the top of the 18, Rapinoe launched a left-footed screamer into the upper right corner of the net for her league-leading 12th goal of the season.

The Reign escaped with the 5-4 win thanks to Rapinoe’s late-game heroics, despite giving up a four-goal lead.


The nine combined goals is tied for most in NWSL history (Portland topped Boston 6-3 on July 20, 2014). Sky Blue’s four goals are the most ever in a loss.


Sky Blue FC fell to fifth place with a 7-7-2 record and 23 points. The Reign are now in fourth place at 6-3-6 with 24 points.

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