TUKWILA, Washington: FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez scored two goals on two assists from midfielder Lauren Holiday as FC Kansas City upset Seattle Reign FC with a 2-1 victory in the 2014 NWSL Championship Sunday afternoon in front of 4,252 fans at Starfire Stadium.
Holiday’s playmaking efforts would earn her the honor of being named 2014 NWSL Championship MVP.
The game started off with the crowd’s energy carrying onto the field, as both teams opened the game with up-tempo play. Reign FC dominated the early minutes of the game, as they created solid build-up in the second and third minutes that set the tone for the first twenty minutes of the match. Reign FC saw several crosses go either wide or untouched in the first twenty minutes, and a goal seemed inevitable.
MVP Lauren Holiday’s assists on Amy Rodriguez’ goals lock up the 2014 Championship
FC Kansas City then flipped the switch after the 19th minute, when midfielder Erika Tymrak took advantage of good ball movement and saw an opportunity to play a cross that she played long of her teammates.
The play, however, injected new life into the Blues, leading to a string of chances in the following minutes. The 21st minute saw midfielder Jenna Richmond attempt a volley on goal that sailed wide and to the right, which at that point was the best look of the game for Kansas City.
The real breakthrough came in the 23rd minute, when FCKC executed on transition and Holiday played a through ball to an open Rodriguez, who calmly put away the first goal of the game with a smooth shot over Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was off of her line. ( WATCH- FCKC’s first goal)
Reign FC took the offensive almost immediately following the goal, charging downfield in no time and eventually setting up Kim Little with a shot on goal only to be saved miraculously by Nicole Barnhart.
Seattle continued their high pressure into the 29th minute when Nahomi Kawasumi got a head on a cross to the far post that she placed just wide of net.
The Reign’s final big chance of the first half came in the 41st minute, when Megan Rapinoe put a long range shot on frame only to see Barnhart make yet another diving stop to her right to maintain the lead for the Blues.
Fresh off the break, Seattle started the second half much like they started the game, stringing together good passes and creating a lot of pressure that ultimately led Rapinoe playing a cross to Kawasumi at the back post, who placed a shot right at Barnhart.
Seattle saw another dangerous opportunity in the 54th minute, when Kim Little took a free kick just outside the eighteen yard box. Little fired a rocket on goal, but it was hit right at Barnhart, who hauled the shot in with ease.
Much like in the first half, FC Kansas City weathered the storm before turning the tables. The culmination of their efforts came in the 56th minute when Holiday once again took on the role of playmaker, showing off impressive skills on the ball before laying a pass off to Rodriguez, who finished the play by placing the ball into Solo’s net with a sliding shot for her second goal of the afternoon. ( WATCH- FCKC’s second goal)
From that point on, Reign FC made it a priority to place as much pressure on the Blues’ back line as possible. The pressure continued until the 84th minute when Rapinoe put another shot on goal, this time smacking the post’s top left corner, one of the Reign’s many near-misses.
Seattle found life in the 87th minute, when Rapinoe was finally able to find the back of the net after a slew of chances for the Reign led to the ball falling to Rapinoe’s feet, which she promptly fired past Barnhart. (WATCH -Reign FC’s first goal)
Seattle would continue their search for the equalizer, however their chances did not render any goals, and the final whistle was blown.
Seattle Reign FC vs. FC Kansas City
August 31, 2014
Starfire Sports Complex
Goals 1 2 F
Seattle Reign FC 0 1 1
FC Kansas City 1 1 2
KC- Amy Rodriguez, 22′ (Holiday)
KC- Rodriguez, 56′ (Holiday)
SEA – Megan Rapinoe, 87′
KC – LePeilbet (Caution) – 79′
SEA – Solo (Caution) – 90’+
SEA: GK Hope Solo, D Stephanie Cox, D Lauren Barnes, D Elli Reed (Mariah Nogueira, 83′), D Kendall Fletcher, M Keelin Winters, M Jessica Fishlock, M Kim Little, F Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi, F Sydney Leroux (Beverly Goebel, 67′), F Megan Rapinoe
KC: GK Nicole Barnhart, D Kassey Kallman, D Nikki Phillips, D Leigh Ann Robinson, D Becky Sauerbrunn, M Jen Buczkowski, M Jenna Richmond, M Lauren Holiday, M Merritt Mathias (Amy LePeilbet, 71′), M Erika Tymrak (Elizabeth Bogus, 76′), F Amy Rodriguez (Sarah Hagen, 64′)
Referee: Margaret Domka
Assistant Referees: Marlene Duff; Danielle Chesky
Fourth Official: Katia Koroleva
Contact: Patrick Donnelly
National Women’s Soccer League
1801 S. Prairie Ave. Chicago, IL 60616 UNITED STATES
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