Seattle, Sky Blue Open Up NWSL Season with Draw

Haley Kopmeyer stop on 04-15-2017.
Haley Kopmeyer stop on 04-15-2017.

The Seattle Reign FC and Sky Blue FC played to a 1-1 draw in a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) opening-day match at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, Washington.

It was a deliberate and methodical affair from both teams. Sky Blue was unlucky not too take the full three points; Reign goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer made eight saves to thwart the visitors from New Jersey.

Sky Blue FC strengthened its squad in the offseason through the 2016 NWSL College Draft and started three of its draftees: Kailen Sheridan in goal, Mandy Freeman and Kayla Mills in defense.

The teams traded penalty kicks, with the home team converting first. In the 55th minute, Megan Rapinoe was brought down in the box by Erica Skroski. Rapinoe did the honors from the spot and put the Reign on the board first.

In the 62nd minute, Merritt Mathias fouled Kelley O’Hara in the box and Sarah Killion converted to equalize for the visitors.

Seattle’s midfield is still a work in progress after losing Kim Little to Arsenal and Keelin Winters to retirement. The Reign will stay at home next week and host a Houston Dash team that opened up the season with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

Sky Blue, a young team but promising, will head to Boston next Sunday to take on a rebuilt and equally young team in the Boston Breakers.

Attendance: 3,521


Seattle Reign FC
28-Haley Kopmeyer; 16-Carson Pickett; 3-Lauren Barnes; 19-Kristen McNabb; 9-Merritt Mathias; 2-Christine Nairn; 17-Beverly Yanez; 10-Jessica Fishlock; 15-Megan Rapinoe; 6-Lindsay Elston; 36-Nahomi Kawasumi

Sky Blue FC
1-Kailen Sheridan; 8-Erica Skroski; 22-Mandy Freeman; 3-Christie Rampone; 15-Kayla Mills; 21-Leah Galton; 16-Sarah Killion; 11-Raquel Rodriguez; 6-Taylor Lytle; 19-Kelley O’Hara; 20-Samantha Kerr