OL Reign draw 2-2 versus Portland Thorns in Cascadia Derby

OL Reign 2

Portland Thorns FC 2

July 10, 2022

NWSL Regular Season

Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

The NWSL Cascadia rivalry renewed Sunday afternoon in Seattle when OL Reign hosted Portland Thorns FC at Lumen Field.

The middle stretch of the NWSL season has seen the table start to stretch out. Both Cascadia clubs entered the match in the top tier of the league and the jockeying for playoff positions is beginning. With all clubs dealing with significant international absences, those that adjust to their missing internationals can set themselves up for a strong run in the the playoffs.

Portland scored first with a 12th minute own goal. OL Reign defender Phoebe McClernon inadvertently knocked the ball in during a scramble in front of keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce. Given the opening first dozen minutes had been pretty end to end, a goal was not surprising, just the method of scoring.

Seattle responded moments later with a 13th minute leveler. The Reign goal was the career for for Olivia Athens. Athens, in her first career start, drilled home a low blast just inside the near post.

The first half progressed with both sides pushing attacks. Portland worked to get striker Morgan Weaver clear, generating a number of dangerous situations in the process, but no further goals as the half wound down.The pace of play remain brisk early in the second half. The 60th minute goal was a product of Portland’s clear commitment to three not one point on the road. A long diagonal from Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg found the foot of Hina Sugita on the far post to break the deadlock.

Seattle would level the match again in the 81st minute. Bethany Balcer headed in a Veronic Latsko cross past Bella Bixby to set up the final run in to the whistle.

Both keepers were called upon to make big saves. Portland would take the lead twice, only to have the Reign equalize.

The match would end 2-2.

With so many players missing due to international commitments and other issues, there were a number of young players getting significant minutes for both sides. First career starts and goals and the dangerous situations created by so much young talent actually bodes well for both clubs as they split the points to remain in the top parts of the table.

Post match it was disclosed just how many players were not available for selection, bringing additional clarity to some of the first career starts in the home side.

The Tobin Heath debut watch continues in Seattle.

Weather: 70, Sunny

Scoring Summary

RGN: Athens – 13’, Balcer – 81’
POR: OL Reign own goal – 12’, Sugita – 60’


RGN: Fishlock (Caution – 87’), Harvey (Caution – 87’)
POR: None


RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Barnes, D Hiatt, D McClernon, D Miramontez, M Canales (63’ Latsko), M Van der Jagt, M Little, M Fishlock, F Athens (63’ Watt), F Balcer
Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, D Burris, D Malonson, D Brown, F Heath

Total Shots: 10 (Fishlock– 4)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Balcer – 2)
Fouls: 3 (Three tied with – 1)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 3 (Tullis-Joyce – 3)

POR: GK Bixby, D Nally (Provenzano 73’), D Hubly, D Klingenberg, M Pogarch, M Sugita, M Moultrie, M Ryan (Beckman 73’), M Coffey, F Everett (Porter 81’), F Weaver (Betfort 73’)
Unused substitutes: GK Smith, GK Hogan, D Shorts, M Byrne

Total Shots: 10 (Weaver – 6)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Four tied with – 1)
Fouls: 9 (Ryan – 3)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 2 (Bixby – 2)

Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wasiak
Assistant Referee 2: Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Kelsey Harms

Kim Little returns and Reign defeat Courage

OL Reign 2
North Carolina Courage 0
NWSL Regular Season
Seattle, WA – Lumen Field
July 1, 2022

As the NWSL season moves into July and a Summer stretch of matches with clubs missing internationals, OL Reign hosted North Carolina Courage in Seattle.

The host Reign was without eight internationals out on duty. Much has been said of Reign depth this season. Along with the addition of Kim Little on loan from Arsenal and the upcoming debut of Tobin Heath, the home side was looking to grab three points and start to settle in to a more comfortable place in the league table.

North Carolina crossed the country, bolstered by the return of national team debutee Carson Pickett, but also without many of their other internationals.

The first half saw both sides playing end to end. Transition attacks suited both teams speed. With so many starters out, pushing the pace was leading to opportunities in front of the goal for both.

Courage forward Kerolin was often the target of the visitors’ attack. There were several chances in front of the Seattle goal in the first half, but the Reign defense ultimately did not break.

Reign attackers Tziarra King and Jessica Fishlock each had opportunities, but like the Courage attack, were thwarted by solid goalkeeper play.

Coming out of the half level, Reign brought on Nikki Stanton to replace Kim Little. Little had shown a numbers of positive indications of her quick adjustment to a Reign system she played in from 14-16, and Stanton brought an additional defensive veteran presence to the match.

The Reign took the lead on a Jessica Fishlock goal in the 52nd minute goal. Bethany Balcer’s diagonal through pass put Fishlock through, who then moved past Courage keeper and into the net.

Carolina continued to push to level. The Reign defense was missing two starters on national team duty, but Sam Hiatt led an organized defense that seemed to play with more control as the match progressed.

Bethany Balcer made it two nil in the 73rd minute, as Jessica Fishlock returned the favor with a slicing pass through the Carolina defense and with the conversion it doubled the Seattle lead.

The two goal cushion would hold up. The Reign would grab three huge points to push up into the top tier of the standings.


Attendance: 7,519

Scoring Summary
RGN: Fishlock – 52’, Balcer – 74’
NCC: None

RGN: None
NCC: Speck (Caution 55’), Kerolin (Caution – 85’)


RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Barnes, D Hiatt, D McClernon, D Miramontez, M Van der Jagt, M Little (Stanton 46’), M Fishlock, F King (61’ Watt), F Latsko (84’ Athens), F Balcer (Canales 90+3’)
Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, GK Dickey, D Malonson, D Brown, D Burris

Total Shots: 14 (Balcer– 5)
Shots on Goal: 7 (King – 3)
Fouls: 4 (Four tied with – 1)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 3 (Tullis-Joyce – 3)

NCC: GK Rowland, D Daniels, D Pickett, D Kurtz, D Mathias, M Berkely, M O’Sullivan (Gray 46’), M Speck (Ratcliffe 87’), M Pinto (Williams 80’), F Kerolin, F Tagliaferri (Baisden 65’)
Unused substitutes: D Bowen, M Stackpole, M Boade, F Baucom, GK Bova

Total Shots: 10 (Kerolin – 4)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Kerolin – 2)
Fouls: 9 (Kerolin, Pinto – 2)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 6
Saves: 5 (Rowland – 5)

Referee: Brad Jensen
Assistant Referee 1: Melissa Gonzalez
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Davis

4th Official: Corbyn May