SEATTLE Seattle Reign FC (15-1-4, 49 pts) clinched the NWSL shield on Wednesday, July 30 after its 4-1 victory over the Houston Dash (5-11-3, 18 pts) at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Two goals from Scottish international Kim Little led Seattle in the victory, which, along with FC Kansas City s 2-1 loss to the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, gives Seattle home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
For the second consecutive game, U.S. Women s National Team forward Sydney Leroux got Seattle on the board in the first five minutes of the match, putting one in the back of the net off a deflection in the second minute to give Reign FC an early lead.
In the 27th minute, Little controlled a chip from midfielder Jessica Fishlock, before knocking it past goalkeeper Erin McLeod for her 13th goal of the season to make it 2-0. With the goal, Little set a new NWSL single-season scoring record.
Forward Megan Rapinoe scored her second goal in as many games in the 48th minute, burying a shot in the top right corner on the far post from well outside the box to extend the lead to 3-0.
Houston got one back in the 56th minute, with forward Kealia Ohai pulling a shot past goalkeeper Hope Solo on the near post to cut the deficit to two.
In the 78th minute, Little put the game on ice, scoring her league-leading 14th goal of the season, and adding to her new league record.
On the defensive end, Solo made four saves, and now boasts a goals against average of .882.
With the win, Reign FC remains atop the league standings with 49 points, 12 points ahead of second place FC Kansas City, and 18 points clear of third-place Washington.
Seattle holds the NWSL record for points in a season, now 11 ahead of the previous high of 38, with four regular season matches left to play.
Reign FC is now 2-0-0 against Houston in 2014, after beating the Dash 2-0 at Memorial Stadium on April 27, with a pair of first-half goals from Little leading Seattle in the victory. The two sides will meet again on August 6 at Memorial Stadium. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (PT) start time.
Seattle will finish its two-game road trip this Saturday, August 2 against FC Kansas City at Verizon Wireless Field. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. (PT) with a live, high-definition webstream available at YouTube.com/NWSL