On Thursday (Oct. 1), the Seattle Reign and FC Kansas City played for the 2015 championship of the National Women’s Soccer League. The matchup was a repeat of last year’s title game, and so was the outcome. FC Kansas City won, this time 1-0 on a goal by Amy Rodriguez in the 78th minute.
It was a duel between what may be the NWSL’s two best teams. Both, in the words of KC defender Becky Sauerbrunn, “really like to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Seattle had the league’s best regular-season record, its most potent offense, and some of the game’s most creative athletes: Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Kim Little, and Beverly Yanez, among others.
Kansas City had the league’s best defense. And thanks to its savvy, solid veterans — Rodriguez, Sauerbrunn, Nicole Barnhart, Jen Buczkowski, Heather O’Reilly, and Lauren Holiday — it had a knack for kicking it up a notch in the postseason.
In the end, it came down to one sequence, one play, one shot — which is what everyone expected.
Here are five oddities, curiosities or (possibly) interesting facts about the game and its participants:
Seattle scored 41 times in the 20-game regular season, far more than any other team.
FC Kansas City allowed 20 goals in the regular season, fewer than any other team.
Kansas City midfielder Jen Buczkowski is the only person to have played in all 66 regular-season games since the inception of the NWSL. (This year, the season consisted of 20 games. Last year, it was 24, and in 2013, it was 22.)
Kansas City midfielder Erika Tymrak drew more fouls (34) than anyone else in the league, a function of her exceptional speed and her penchant for pushing forward.
KC shut out opponents nine times in the regular season — 11 times counting the playoffs.