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.


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.


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


RGN: None
LA: None


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.


Scoring Summary

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


RGN: None
SD: None


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