The regular-season champion Seattle Reign FC came back from a goal down to beat the Washington Spirit, 2-1, in the NWSL semifinals on Megan Rapinoe
's late goal. The game turned on a pair of penalty kicks. Scoring champion Kim Little
converted her twice-taken
spot kick for Seattle, and then Hope Solo
stopped Canadian Diana Matheson
's attempt for the Spirit.
international Veronica Perez
returned to Seattle, where she starred at the University of Washington, scored to put the Spirit ahead in the 66th minute after
some great work by Matheson to break down the Reign backline.
But six minutes later, Toni Pressley was called for a handball in the area on a shot by Sydney Leroux, and Little
scored her 17th goal of the year, beating Ashlyn Harris to the keeper's left and then to her right after she was ordered to retake the penalty.
A second penalty was awarded for another
handball in the area in the 78th minute, but Solo reached out to stop Matheson's attempt.
Four minutes later, Rapinoe won the game for the hosts when she broke in the right side and
blasted a shot inside the near post for the win.
The Reign will host FC Kansas City, a 2-0 winner over the defending champion Portland Thorns on Saturday, in next Sunday’s final
(live at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2).