They weren't as dominant as they were in the regular season, but the Seattle Reign were good enough to beat the Washington Spirit 2-1 on Sunday and qualify for the NWSL Finals. They will face FC Kansas City, which beat the Portland Thorns in the other semifinal on Saturday.
The Reign, as they've done so many times this year, overcame a deficit to score win in front of their home fans. Kim Little got the equalizer on a penalty that she was forced to retake, Megan Rapinoe scored the eventual game-winner and Hope Solo made it stand up with a penalty save.
Veronica Perez had given the Spirit the initial lead in the 65th minute, finishing a close-range attempt off a pass from Diana Matheson. But the lead was short-lived.
Just six minutes later, a Spirit defender was called for a handball on a Sydney Leroux shot. Although the ball struck her arm, it looked very much like a class ball-to-hand situation. Questionable or not, though, NWSL Golden Boot winner Little stroked her penalty into the back of the net only to be forced to retake it when Jess Fishlock encroached. No matter, Little simply finished the next attempt.
Seemingly intent to even things up, the Spirit were awarded an even more questionable penalty in the 77th minute when a ball bounced off Kendall Fletcher's head and struck Reign defender Kate Deines' arm. Solo, though, guessed correctly and dove to her right to save Matheson's well-struck effort.
With momentum clearly on their side, the Reign seized the opportunity in the 82nd minute when Rapinoe got behind the Spirit defense and beat Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris inside the near post.