BREAKING; Megan Rapinoe’s not done: OL Reign earn NWSL playoff spot, home match

Megan Rapinoe scored two goals in three minutes at the start of the second half as OL Reign won 3-0 over the Chicago Red Stars at Seatgeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, Sunday and secured a spot in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoffs.

OL Reign finished fourth in the NWSL standings and will host at least one more home match in the 38-year-old Rapinoe’s final season.

As the club noted it in its match recap, Rapinoe began the scoring in the 47th minute, with the help of Quinn. The Canadian midfielder found Rapinoe near the top of the 18-yard box. Rapinoe cut inside before finding the far post to give OL Reign the lead.Rapinoe wasn’t done after one goal, though. She found the back of the net once again just three minutes later. Her 50th-minute goal was assisted by Jess Fishlock who fed Rapinoe the ball near the top of the box once again, setting her up for a far post repeat, the club reported.

Fishlock added a 59th-minute goal for the Reign, who played to a scoreless draw in the first half against Chicago before pulling away from the league’s last-place team in the second half.

OL Reign finished 9-8-5 for 32 points, one point ahead of Angel City FC in the league.

That one-point difference means OL Reign will host a NWSL quarterfinal match against Angel City FC, based in Los Angeles, at Lumen Field Friday to kick off the league’s playoffs. Tickets for the match are available now.

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The winner advances to play at the San Diego Wave FC on Nov. 5 in the league’s semifinals. That match will take place at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.San Diego Wave FC finished 11-7-4 and earned the league’s top seed. They have a bye for the opening round of the playoffs. Rapinoe’s long-time U.S. Women’s National Team teammate Alex Morgan plays for the Wave.

Eight teams entered Sunday in contention for four remaining playoff spots, with every NWSL game kicking off simultaneously. The Reign, North Carolina Courage, Angel City and Gotham secured those final four spots.

OL Reign honor Rapinoe
The retiring Rapinoe was honored by OL Reign on Oct. 8 in front of a NWSL record crowd of 34,130 fans, many of whom wore pink wigs in her honor.

“I do know my impact but it’s one thing to know it, and another thing to really feel it and see it. To see some of the signs and the pink wigs and see what that means to people,” Rapinoe said. “It’s hard to put just this deep sense of gratitude and joy and thankfulness for being able to have a moment like this into words.”

With her family and fiancé Sue Bird looking on that night, Rapinoe started for the Reign in a scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit. Lumen Field’s public address system played “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” when she took to the field with her teammates.

Rapinoe had already played her final match with the U.S. national team last month in Chicago, but Friday marked her final regular-season home game for the Reign.

“I don’t ever think we took it for granted our 11 years here one bit. I think that’s how Pinoe lives, she lives with this joy, she lives for those moments, and she really pushes us to also do that,” teammate Lauren Barnes said. “I think it’s undeniable the positive impact she’s had.”

A video played before the match included well-wishes from such luminaries as Abby Wambach, Ken Griffey Jr., Magic Johnson and Billie Jean King.

The 38-year-old Rapinoe has played in 115 regular-season games for the Reign and scored 51 goals.

According to statistics provided by the team, Rapinoe’s 51 goals all-time are the most in club history and sixth most in NWSL history. The 11-year veteran is one of two players in league history to record more than 50 goals with one club.



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