The four playoff spots have been secured after some exciting games were played on Wednesday and Thursday night.
The playoff seeding has yet to be locked into place, however, as two games still remain for the majority of the teams.
Seattle Claim Second-Straight Shield With Win Over Boston
History was made last night as the Seattle Reign defeated the Boston Breakers to secure the 2015 NWSL shield, the trophy that is awarded to the team that tops the regular season standings.
Strikes from Megan Rapinoe, Kendall Fletcher, and Kim Little put Seattle over the hills and far way before a late consolation goal from Maddy Evans made it 3-1.
4,484 fans were on hand to witness the victory, which also guarantees Boston of the ninth and final spot in the standings.
U.S. international Megan Rapinoe was ever-present throughout the game, causing Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher into a great reflex save in the eighth minute. Katrine Veje played a great low cross to the penalty spot, where Rapinoe connected with the ball, but Naeher tipped the ball onto the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
But twelve minutes later, Seattle got the goal their play deserved as Rapinoe finished off a low cross from Stephanie Cox. Naeher managed to get a hand onto this shot as well, but the ball still managed to trickle over the line for Rapinoe’s fourth goal of the year.
Veje and Rapinoe linked up again for another chance in the 33rd minute, but Naeher managed to divert the ball away from goal to one of her defenders. Boston’s clearance went straight to Kendall Fletcher at the top of the box, where Fletcher took a touch and powered in a shot to give Seattle a two-goal lead.
The Reign’s lead was stretched to three in the 56th minute, with Rapinoe notching the assist on Kim Little’s tenth goal of 2015. Rapinoe flicked the ball into the middle of the field from the edge of the box where it found Little. The Scottish forward, fresh from a hat-trick in Houston last Friday, took a touch and finished past Naeher.
Seattle could not hold onto the shutout, however, as Maddy Evans scored a late consolation goal following a great pass from Kristie Mewis. The midfielder’s floated pass beyond the defense found Evans, who chested the ball forward and slotted an angled shot past Hope Solo in the 88th minute.
The win serves as Seattle’s sixth in a row and guarantees them that they will host the fourth-placed team on September 13th in the semifinals.
Washington Claim Final Playoff Spot In Kansas City Stalemate
The Washington spirit and FC Kansas City played to a stalemate Thursday night in front of 2,492 fans on Thursday night.
The point guarantees the Spirit of a playoff spot, which means all 4 teams have secured their playoff spot and the Portland Thorns have been eliminated from contention.
Kansas city was the better team throughout, but couldn’t find the back of the net thanks to a combination of Ashlynn Harris’ saves and the frame of the goal.
Harris’ first meaningful save came in the 21st save as she tipped Leigh Ann Robinson’s cross onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
Amy Rodriguez was inches away from scoring her third goal in two games, but when she ran to the near post to connect with Heather O’Reilly’s low cross, she could only put her shot off of the post.
O’Reilly had a great chance to put the hosts ahead herself but Harris managed to make a great diving save on her angled shot to keep the game scoreless.
Crystal Dunn, who leads the league with 13 goals and 5 Player of the Week awards, was responsible for the only shots on goal for the visitors. Nicole Barnhart wasn’t particularly troubled by either shot as she was well positioned for both efforts.
Kansas City secured their playoff berth with a 3-0 win over Boston last week and will have to fight it out with Chicago and Washington to finish in second place and host the second semifinal.