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
RGN: Athens – 13’, Balcer – 81’
POR: OL Reign own goal – 12’, Sugita – 60’
RGN: Fishlock (Caution – 87’), Harvey (Caution – 87’)
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)
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)
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 2 (Bixby – 2)
Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wasiak
Assistant Referee 2: Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Kelsey Harms