OL Reign strengthened its hold on a NWSL playoff place and entrenched Gotham FC near the bottom of the table with a commanding 4-1 win at Lumen Field on Sunday behind some inspirational play from Megan Rapinoe. The 37-year-old was heavily involved in all four Reign goals and finished two herself.
In the 15th minute, Rapinoe's quick throw-in acted as the assist for Rose Lavelle's third of the season.
She's BACK and she's DANGEROUS! @roselavelle | @OLReign pic.twitter.com/y8qVv0ZQhb
Shortly before halftime, Rapinoe earned a converted a penalty to make it 2-0.
Pinoe PK punisher! @mPinoe | @OLReign pic.twitter.com/MS1I9dqWwt
Rapinoe then effectively called match in the 69th minute with her third goal in eight appearances this season.
One-touch perfection from Pinoe @mPinoe | @OLReign pic.twitter.com/ioKeIQBCgq
Three minutes later, Taylor Smith pulled one back for Gotham with a precise finish from 18 yards out.
Not going down without a fight! @taylornsmith11_ gets Gotham on the board!@GothamFC | #yerrrr pic.twitter.com/3CoUSSNYfc
Rapinoe helped restore the Reign's three-goal advantage just one minute later with a cross that Gotham's Mandy Freeman headed into her own net.
Just seconds after Gotham's goal, an unfortunate own-goal puts the Reign back ahead by three.#RGNvNJNY | #AllTheAction pic.twitter.com/9rGSR4jGfE
Rapinoe came off in the 75th-minute to a standing ovation. Tobin Heath, making her fifth appearance since signing, played the second 45 for OL Reign.