OL Reign take on Washington in Seattle

OL Reign 0
Washington Spirit 0
May 22, 2022 – NWSL Regular Season
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA

OL Reign hosted Washington Spirit in Sunday afternoon NWSL action. With both sides in need of early season points it was set to be as big a match as either club could have in May.

The host Reign were beginning a three match in 8 day stretch with a lot of home points there to grab. The visiting Spirit were coming off a midweek match and playing on short rest.

The first half score line was balanced, the hosts having more of the possession and some more chances. However, the Spirit created a number of dangerous opportunities and pressures on Reign keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce.

Washington worked to get Trinity Rodman isolated on the right flank, and on a few occasions she got around the corner and got crosses off, but the central defense was there to clog up those and other opportunities.

OL had much of their attacking opportunities on the right flank through Veronica Latsko pushing forward. As the midfield was a generally difficult trek to get through, pushing the ball wide or diagonal became the areas where opportunity was most available.

The Reign brought Megan Rapinoe on to begin the second half and she immediately got involved in the offence, created a cross and getting a solid shot on goal in the first minutes. Ally Watt also came on and was a threat for more direct play, striding through to get a few looks. The Washington defense held up very often, and many chances were stifled by defenders converging and shutting down lanes.

There were a number of points where a single goal might have opened up the match, but in the end the goalless draw was simply the result of two good defenses stifling two good offenses on the day.

An entertaining match with a lot of end to end play. A frustrating point for both sides. Each needed three and neither got it.

The Reign looked very good at times, taking many shots, but not getting a goal means it was points dropped. For a traveling Spirit side, keeping a clean sheet on the road was a point grabbed.

The hosts have to put the good performance but lack of goals behind them quickly, as two matches are clustered in the coming week and home.

BOX

Scoring

RGN: None
WAS: None

Discipline

RGN: Van der Jagt (Caution – 74’)
WAS: Rodman (Caution – 71’)

Lineups

RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Barnes ©, D Hiatt, D Cook, D Huerta, M Quinn (Miramontez 87’), M Fishlock, M Lavelle (Van der Jagt 71’), F Latsko (Watt 61’), F Angelina (Rapinoe 46’ (King 87’)), F Balcer (Stanton 90+7’)
Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, D Lopez, D McClernon

Total Shots: 20 (Latsko – 5)
Shots on Goal: 8 (Watt – 3)
Fouls: 8 (Fishlock, Balcer – 2)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 7
Saves: 2 (Tullis-Joyce – 2)

WAS: GK Kingsbury, D Biegalski, D Staab, D Sonnett, D Heilferty (Sullivan 62’), M Roddar (Brooks 77’), M Aylmer (O’Hara 62’), M Feist (Alexander 70’), F Hatch (Elwell 69’), F Rodman (Harding 77’), F Sanchez
Unused substitutes: D Rodriguez, D Goff, GK Kerr

Total Shots: 7 (Sanchez – 2)
Shots on Goal: 2 (Sanchez – 1)
Fouls: 10 (Roddar, Hatch – 2)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 8 (Kingbury – 8)

Referee: Samantha Martinez
Assistant Referee 1: Melissa Beck
Assistant Referee 2: Bennett Savage
4th Official: Christopher Calderon

Changes

Not only has the move from stadium to stadium been beneficial to players and fans, but also to the working conditions in the press box.

No more terrifying or cramped conditions.

Nice.

OL Reign host Angel City FC in Challenge Cup

OL Reign 2

Angel City FC 1

April 17, 2022 – NWSL Challenge Cup

Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

OL Reign hosted Angel City FC for the first time in Seattle on a lovely Sunday afternoon at Lumen Field in Seattle.

The hosts entered the match top of the Western table, having yet to lose a match. The first year Angel City are still a work in progress, utilizing the spring tournament as a chance to sort many things out with a regular season refresh button looming.

The opening half was a smooth moving affair. OL Reign was general having the better of possession, moving the ball from the midfield into the attacking third a number of times. The possession generated some shots and a number of corners, but only a few of the chances seemed really dangerous.

Angel City did not experience what their fellow expansion club faced three days earlier in the three goal barrage the hosts opened with. The guests did a nice job of holding their shape and converging defensively, conceding ground and possession time, but not allowing the Reign to get good clear looks on goal. The LA side also managed some good counters and created some chances themselves.

In the 34th minute the Reign broke through. Quinn sent a long through ball from the defensive half to a running Ally Watt. Watt managed to settle and beat a defender, laying the ball off to a through running Bethany Balcer. Balcer’s first time rip beat the Angel City keeper and it was one nil.

Angel City responded to the Reign goal with immediate pressure, creating some chances, but not breaking through to equalize as the opening half ticked to a close.

The second half started off with a much quicker pace, as it was clear Angel City was going to bring it and pressure the hosts to hold their lead. Despite a number of chances, the match would remain a one goal affair until late.

In the 82nd minute the visitors had what looked like their best chance just pushed wide by Reign keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce with a left handed lunge.

The match would go level in the 83rd minute, as Jun Endo would get the ball to the end line and send in a dangerous cross that Simone Charley would head in for a goal. Charley’s looping header was a reward for Angel City, for having created many chances and keeping the match close.

It looked like the match would end level at one to one, but with about 15 seconds left in stoppage time Olivia Van der Jagt would get a head on the end of a lovely Lu Barnes cross. The stoppage time winner was just enough, although Angel City would manage one last crack at the goal that would go wide in the final minute.

OL Reign leave the match with 13 points and an unbeaten record going into the final Challenge Cup match.

For Angel City, it was a brutal way to end a match they had deservedly leveled late. But, even with only a point from their first five matches, the regular season reset could serve them well.

OL Reign have shown their depth in the Challenge Cup, and look like a club that could be dangerous throughout 2022. This is a far cry from where the side was early last summer before the coaching change.

BOX

2022 NWSL Challenge Cup

OL Reign (4-0-1, 13 points) 2-1 Angel City FC (0-4-1, 1 point)

Date/Time: Sunday, April 17, 2022, 3:00 p.m. PT

Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington

Weather: 53, Partly Sunny

Scoring Summary

RGN: Balcer – 34, Van der Jagt – 90+4’
LA: Charley – 83

Discipline

RGN: None
LA: None

Lineups

RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Huerta, D Cook, D Hiatt, D Barnes, M Quinn (Athens 89’), M Fishlock, M Van der Jagt, F Balcer (Lopez 77’), F Watt (Stanton 76’), F Latsko
Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, D Malonson, D McClernon, D Miramontez, F Kajan, M Canales

Total Shots: 18 (Watt – 6)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Watt – 2)
Fouls: 10 (Stanton – 4)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 8
Saves: 3 (Tullis-Joyce – 3)

LA: GK Haracic, D Riley (Hammond 64’), D Gilles, D Reid, D Spencer, M Weatherholt, M Roccaro (Breslin 82’), M McCaskill, F Charley, F Endo, F Lussi
Unused substitutes: GK Isenhour, GK Perez, M Ferrer Van Ginkel, D Swaby, M Nabet, M Taylor

Total Shots: 10 (Charley – 3)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Charley – 2)
Fouls: 10 (Spencer, Lussi – 2)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 2 (Haracic– 2)

Referee: Brandon Stevis
Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wasiak
Assistant Referee 2: CJ Koll
4th Official: Patricia Mccracken

OL Reign face San Diego at home for the first time

OL Reign 3

San Diego Wave FC 0

April 14, 2022 – NWSL Challenge Cup

Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

OL Reign were host to San Diego Wave FC in NWSL Challenge Cup action on Thursday night at Lumen Field in Seattle.

The midweek match up coming only a few days after international match duty for many players on both rosters made for some interesting opportunities for minutes. In addition, both clubs will be playing again in a short three day turnaround on Sunday.

Nikki Stanton got the hosts on the board in just the 2nd minute of the match, converting a low volley in traffic. San Diego defense was unable to clear and as the ball lingered briefly in the penalty area, Stanton was there to pounce and convert.

The early going was a Reign barrage. The second minute Stanton goal was followed in the 8th by Bethany Balcer and in the 11th by Sam Hiatt. The three goal lead in under 12 minutes was not something to have been predicted.

San Diego had managed to get the ball in to the Reign defensive end early a few times without converting, but the other end of the pitch was all Reign.

Alex Morgan would get the visiting Wave on the board mid-half, slotting one past the Reign defense to cut the lead to 3-1. It was a classic Morgan goal, timing her run to the ball over the top and then a nice touch to the far post.

The Reign would need to make a first half injury sub; Tziarra King came off in the 28th for Sofia Huerta. Either through an abundance of caution or something more serious, Reign Coach Laura Harvey did not hesitate to make the change.

The 3-1 score line would go into the half. Coming out of the interval the first ten minutes of second half found some score line stability and both sides seemed to be a little less on the front foot.

The second half saw a number of chances for the hosts to extend their lead and the visitors to cut into it. Both keepers made some solid saves on those opportunities, keeping the match at 3-1. Even in stoppage time, San Diego managed a good look, keeping up the fight, but it was just wide.

Late in the match, OL Reign brought in a line change of veteran internationals in what looked like a lock down the home stretch move.

The early goals were ultimately a lead OL Reign was able to protect.

Note: The OL Reign’s three goals in the first 11 minutes is the fasted to three goals by a team in NWSL history in all official competitions.

BOX

Scoring Summary

RGN: Stanton – 2, Balcer – 8, Hiatt – 11
SD: Morgan – 24

Discipline

RGN: None
SD: None

Lineups

RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Miramontez (Cook 84’), D McClernon, D Hiatt, D Barnes, M Van der Jagt, M Stanton, M Balcer (Fishlock 84’), F Latsko (Lopez 83’), F Watt(Quinn 62’), F King (Huerta 27’)
Unused substitutes: GK Dickey, M Athens, F Kajan, M Canales

Total Shots: 10 (Balcer, Latsko – 2)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Four tied with – 1)
Fouls: 12 (Stanton – 4)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 3 (Tullis-Joyce – 3)

SD: GK Telford, D Hansen (Girma 65’), D Westphal, D Dahlkemper (Briede 46’), D Riehl, M McNabb, M Kornieck, M Turnbow (Schimmer 74’), M Johnson (Ali 55’), F Morgan, F Taylor (Jakobsson 65’)
Unused substitutes: GK Lowder, M Pulver, M Van Egmond, F Sodoma

Total Shots: 11 (Morgan – 4)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Morgan – 4)
Fouls: 10 (McNabb – 3)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 1 (Telford – 3)

Referee: Adorae Monroy
Assistant Referee 1: Melissa Beck
Assistant Referee 2: Kali Smith
4th Official: Jaclyn Metz

photos by Jeff

OL Reign opens 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup v PTFC

OL Reign 0
Portland Thorns FC 0
March 18, 2022
Seattle, WA – Lumen Field
NWSL Challenge Cup

photos by Vanya Tucherov

OL Reign and Portland Thorns played a memorable 2021 match at Lumen Field in Seattle. No longer a one off, Lumen Field is now the home of the OL Reign. To kick off the first season in the stadium – and a return to Seattle from three seasons in Tacoma, Cascadia rivals Portland Thorns FC made the trip up the freeway on Friday night.

For both clubs the Challenge Cup will be a chance to sort out against actual opposition some significant changes in the offseason.

Both sides got early chances to set a tone. Portland managed a quick corner and good pressure. OL Reign got through in the 6th minute by Veronica Latsko was just wide with her chip over Thorns keeper Bella Bixby. The visiting Thorns seemed to have the better of the early going. Alana Cook took a yellow to slow Christine Sinclair on the break in the 15th minute.

The early pace remained steady. The game would not remain a goalless affair long. Sofia Huerta launched a volley from an Angelina lay off from just outside the box and it was one nil to the home side.

Sophia Smith broke free a few moments later, the initial shot blocked by Reign keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce. The deflection went outside the box to the feet of Christine Sinclair, who slotted it to her right and just inside the post to bring the match level in the 28th minute.

Halftime saw the match level at one. In many ways, that was a fair score, but both sides had to be thinking on some missed opportunities that could have broken the match wide open.

Both sides came out of the interval without making big changes. The early pace of play in the 2nd was more methodical.

Once the first 15 passed, the substitution chess match began. Fresh legs Ally Watt up front for the Reign pushed the Portland defense. As the reinforcements began checking in, the end to end play of the early first half became more prominent once again.

Portland was playing it’s first match since the departure of Lindsey Horan. OL Reign had Megan Rapinoe in street clothes and Rose Lavelle only entered the match in the 75th minute. Lavelle would make her mark quickly as the Reign immediately began looking for her in the possession, but she drew a yellow in the 83rd after a tough challenge on Bixby.

The final stretch was a bit of a testy affair, with a number of late yellows for tough challenges and some frustrations.

A 1-1 draw was not a result either side could be thrilled with, given the chances each had. Both clubs looked ready for solid seasons.

BOX SCORE

OL Reign (0-0-1, 1pt) vs. Portland Thorns FC (0-0-1, 1pt)

NWSL Challenge Cup

March 18, 2022 – Lumen Field (Seattle, Wash.)

Scoring Summary:

RGN: 19’- Huerta (Angelina)

POR: 28’- Sinclair

Discipline:

RGN: Cook (caution), 15

POR: Kuikka (caution), 25

RGN: Barnes (caution), 66

RGN: Lavelle (caution), 83

RGN: Watt (caution), 89

POR: Sugita (caution), 90+1

Lineups:

RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Huerta, D Cook, D Hiatt, D Barnes ©, M Quinn, M Angelia (Lavelle, 75), M Fishlock, F Latsko, F Balcer, F King (Watt, 63)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivory, D McClernon, D Miramontez, D Lopez, M Stanton, M Van Der Jagt, M Athens

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Huerta, 3)

SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Huerta, 2)

FOULS: 11 (Four players tied, 2)

OFFSIDES: 1

CORNER KICKS: 6

SAVES: 2

POR: GK Bixby, D Hubly, D Menges, D Nally, M Kuikka, M Coffey, M Klingenberg, M Ryan (Moultrie, 65), M Sugita, F S. Smith (Everett, 87), F Sinclair © (Weaver, 73)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, GK A. Smith, D Provenzano, M Beckman, M Porter, F Betfort

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Smith, 4)

SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1)

FOULS: 9 (Klingenberg, Sugita, 2)

OFFSIDES: 2

CORNER KICKS: 1

SAVES: 2

Referee: Kevin Broadley

Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Katarzyna Wasiak

4th Official: Adorae Monroy

Attendance: 7,343

Gearing up for 2022

The Goalie Guys are getting ready for the 2022 NWSL Season covering the OL Reign from Seattle once again.

There will be additional posts to the normal home match reports. Vanya is shooting at Kraken games. Jeff will be at the odd other football match.

Watch for our posts here and on our socials.

OL Reign season ends in NWSL Semifinal loss to Washington Spirit

OL Reign 1
Washington Spirit 2
NWSL Semifinal – November 14, 2021
Cheney Stadium – Tacoma, WA

The first of two Sunday semifinals pitted the host OL Reign against the visiting Washington Spirit in Tacoma. The stakes were simple; win and go to Louisville for the final on the 20th, or lose and the season ends in Cheney Stadium. Both sides entered the match having played well down the stretch and with limited personnel restrictions.

The two sides had met recently at this same location, with the Spirit taking the three points. The Reign had managed to earn the bye week in the season finale, having extra rest at home while Washington went out and defeated North Carolina in the first round at home.

The host Reign got off to a lightning start, grabbing a goal in the third minute when Megan Rapinoe was played through by Dzsenifer Marozsan and Eugenie Le Sommer was there to tap in the cross on the back post. They nearly doubled their lead early in the 10th, but to no avail.

Washington would respond in the 12th when a long through pass to Trinity Rodman was converted with a right footed strike from the top of the box to level the match. Suddenly, it was level instead of one team with a large early lead.

The match pace remained end to end as the first half progressed. Each side utilized the smaller dimensions of Cheney Stadium for some direct play, putting both defensive lines under pressure, but also leading to a number of offside calls.

Spirit possession became much more of a factor as the half wound down, putting the hosts under pressure to keep the match level going into the interval. What looked like a match that could quickly take off in OL Reign favor was level both in score and play.

Both sides came out with chances early in the second half, with Rapinoe hitting a post and Rodman near post wide twice.

Prior to the match in the weekly Zoom presser, Jess Fishlock spoke of just how different playoff games were. The intensity on every pass and pressure in this match definitely spoke to that. In the 61st minute Spirit defender Kelley O’Hara received a yellow for upending Rapinoe.

Bethany Balcer came on for Quinn in the 66th and it appeared Reign coach Laura Harvey was pushing for the goal and not extra time with even more offense on the pitch.

But, in a bit of a near post scramble a few moments later Washington took the lead when Ashley Sanchez somehow found the net on an odd angle. Sanchez managed to scoop and lift the ball over the Reign defenders and it simply floated to the far post and in.

The Spirit managed to weather a series of OL Reign attacks, including one last cross and header on goal as stoppage time wound down. With the win, Washington faces the winner of match two in Louisville on November 20.

The Reign had an amazing run from coaching change to a hosted semifinal, and their season should be considered a success based upon all they overcame, but giving up that early lead was a tough thing to come back from.
It will be an interesting off-season in Tacoma. The Reign managed to right the ship midseason and make a run to the semifinal, and even losing this was a match that could have bounced either way given the quality of play on both sides.

This is a Washington Spirit team that also overcame so much adversity, and now they have a shot at finishing the season as champions. The Spirit have veterans in key places, and young talent that is dangerous. After the match, Reign coach Laura Harvey remarked this was the best team they faced since she came back. Chicago will have its hands full in the final.

BOX

2021 NWSL Semifinal
OL Reign (13-8-3, 42 points in regular season) 1-2 Washington Spirit (11-6-7, 39 points in regular season)
Date/Time: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 12:00 p.m. PT
Location: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Washington
Weather: 59, Cloudy

Scoring Summary

RGN: Le Sommer – 3’
WASH: Rodman – 12’, Sanchez – 68’

Discipline

RGN: Rapinoe (Caution – 88’), Watt – (Caution – 89’)
WASH: O’Hara (Caution – 61’)

Lineups

RGN: GK Bouhaddi, D McNabb, D Barnes © (Watt 86’), D Cook D Huerta, M Lavelle, M Quinn (Balcer 66’), M Fishlock (Weatherholt 75’), F Rapinoe, F Marozsán, F Le Sommer
Unused Substitutes: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Brooks, D Celia, D Cox, M Angelina, M Cruz

Total Shots: 23 (Le Sommer– 7)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Le Sommer – 2)
Fouls: 10 (Barnes – 3)
Offsides: 8 (Rapinoe – 5)
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 2 (Bouhaddi – 2)

WASH: GK Beldsoe, D Staab, D O’Hara, D Sonnett, D McGrady (Roddar 72’), M Sanchez (Aylmer 91’), M Sullivan ©, M Bailey, F Rodman, F McKeown (Heilferty 80’), F Hatch (Neilsen 92’)
Unused Substitutes: M Takarada, F Yokoyama, GK Kerr, D Rodriguez, D Biegalski

Total Shots: 13 (Rodman– 5)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Rodman – 2)
Fouls: 7 (Three tied with – 2)
Offsides: 1 (Rodman – 1)
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 2 (Bledsoe – 2)

Officials
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Brooke Mayo

OL Reign finish home slate with tough loss

OL Reign 0
Washington Spirit 2
NWSL Regular Season
Cheney Stadium – Tacoma, WA
October 16, 2021

OL Reign played host to Washington Spirit Saturday night in Tacoma as both sides looked to surge into the playoffs. The host Reign not only could clinch the bye week and home match, but were still competing for a possible NWSL Shield. With home playoff games available for the 3rd and 4th place sides in the opening round, any points would be helpful for the Spirit.

The first half was an end to end affair, with both sides pushing forward much of the time. As a result, there was a good deal of pressure on each defense, and a number of dangerous chances were created by both.

A cross in the 22nd minute from Spirit defender Julia Roddar found the foot of the Taylor Aylmer, whose touch floated the ball over Reign keeper Sarah Bouhaddi and just under the crossbar.

Washington would take their one goal lead into the half.

Coming out of the interval, the hosts made a couple of substitutions to try and shake things up and rotate players after the grueling week. The Reign continued to press forward, the opportunities continued, but the Washington defense held.

Ashley Hatch extended the Spirit lead to two nil in the 59th minute with a right footed blast from outside the box that stunned the home crowd. With a half hour remaining, there was plenty of time for the hosts to come back, all it would take is a break through.

The visitors dedicated themselves to the defense of their two goal lead as the match wound down, keeping numbers back and frustrating Reign efforts to cohesively string together attacks. The break through for the Reign did not come as the Spirit defense held on for the clean sheet.

In the end, the two nil win for Washing is three huge points and a major opportunity taken. The standings set the Spirit up for a likely home first round match.

For the host Reign, this was a match of missed opportunities. The three points dropped likely will not keep them from the bye week, but the Shield now requires a lot of help from rival Portland.

Photos by Vanya Tucherov

BOX

Scoring Summary
RGN: none
WAS: Aylmer – 22’, Hatch – 59’

Discipline
RGN: Barnes (Caution – 27’), Le Sommer (Caution – 50’)
WAS: Roddar (Caution – 65’), Rodman (Caution – 81’)

Lineups
RGN: GK Bouhaddi, D McNabb, D Cook, D Barnes ©, D Huerta, M Angelina (Marozsán 46’), M Fishlock (Watt 85’), M Weatherholt (Quinn 46’), F Le Sommer, F Lavelle, F Rapinoe (Balcer 70’)
Unused Substitutes: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Brooks, D Celia, D Cox, M Cruz

Total Shots: 15 (Fishlock – 5)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Lavelle – 2)
Fouls: 8 (Rapinoe – 3)
Offsides: 3 (Rapinoe – 2)
Corner Kicks: 9
Saves: 4 (Bouhaddi – 4)

WAS: GK Bledsoe ©, D Staab, D O’Hara, D Sonnett, D Roddar (McGrady 72’), M Sanchez (Huster 81’), M Bailey, M Aylmer, F Rodman (Takarada 92’), F McKeown (Heilferty 72’), F Hatch (Yokoyama 92’)
Unused Substitutes: D Nielsen, GK Kerr, D Rodriguez, D Biegalski

Total Shots: 17 (Rodman – 4)
Shots on Goal: 7 (Rodman, Aylmer – 2)
Fouls: 9 (Rodman– 3)
Offsides: 1 (Rodman – 1)
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 4 (Bixby – 4)

Officials
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Tiffini Turpin