Reign and Red Stars split the points in Seattle

OL Reign 2
Chicago Red Stars 2
NWSL Regular Season
September 9, 2022
Seattle, WA – Lumen Field
With only a handful of matches left per team and a cluster of sides fighting to be in the top six, the OL Reign hosted Chicago Red Stars Friday night in Seattle.
At this stage in the campaign dropping points could mean being the side that drops to seventh in the standings and is left outside the playoffs.
The hosts came out with heavy pressure. Chicago countered with space and movement, working to spread the field and use quick passes to circumvent. Reign forward Megan Rapinoe and others still managed to create numerous chances in the first portion of the half. Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher was able to hold off the earliest attempts.
When the Reign broke through, with Jordyn Huitema scoring in the 18th minute, it was a result of a follow up on a save that deflected right back to her for the finish. her initial shot from the center of the box ending up right back at her feet for a one time low drive.
For the Seattle side, this was a first half that was a bit of a microcosm of their season. A lot of pressure and chances, not getting the goals, the other side weathers a storm and levels.
Just before the half Chicago managed to level, Ella Stevens slotting home the goal from inside the penalty area after a bit of a wild scramble. The stoppage time equalizer sent the sides into the break on level terms.
There was a distinct momentum shift coming out of the break. Chicago brought the pressure and created opportunities.
Danielle Colaprico converted a 68th minute penalty from a handball call, and it was suddenly 2-1 for the visitors. Chicago had smartly played themselves through the Reign pressure, and with the second half well underway had turned much of the momentum into their attack.
In the 75th minute Seattle nearly had a penalty on a foul in the box, but an offside flag over-ruled it.
It was only a few minutes later when Seattle would get their second goal. An 80th minute Rose Lavelle long range shot would bring the match back level at 2-2.
This is a match both sides will rightfully feel were points dropped not a point gained.
BOX
Scoring Summary
RGN: Huitema – 18’, Lavelle – 80’
CHI: Stevens – 40+2’, Colaprico – 68’
Discipline
RGN: None
CHI: None
Lineups
RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Huerta, D Cook, D Hiatt, D Barnes, M Stanton (McClernon 86’), M Van der Jagt, M Lavelle, F Balcer, F Huitema (Latsko 86’), F Rapinoe
Unused substitutes: GK Dickey, GK Ivory, M Quinn, M Canales, M Athens, F King
Total Shots: 21 (Rapinoe, Huitema – 6)
Shots on Goal: 9 (Lavelle – 3)
Fouls: 10 (Balcer, Stanton – 2)
Offsides: 4
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 2 (Tullis-Joyce – 2)
CHI: GK Naeher, D Milazzo, D Morse, D Kowalski, M Aguilera (St. Georges 69’), M Colaprico, M DiBernardo, M Fisher (Pugh 45’), F Hill, F Nagasato (Gautgrat 83’), F Stevens (Cook 69’)
Unused substitutes: GK Boyd, M Foster, F Luebbert, F Griffith, F Dawber
Total Shots: 16 (Hill, Pugh – 3)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Four tied with – 1)
Fouls: 6 (Fisher, Aguilera – 2)
Offsides: 0
Corner Kicks: 6
Saves: 4 (Naeher – 7)
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referee 1: Melissa Gonzalez
Assistant Referee 2: Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Kelsey Harms

OL Reign 4-1 over Gotham FC

OL Reign 4
NJ/NY Gotham FC 1
NWSL Regular Season
August 14, 2022
Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

OL Reign played host to NJ/NY Gotham FC on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle.

Gotham was playing its first match since parting ways with its head coach earlier in the week. Interim head coach Hue Menzies would also be without a couple of starters on the cross country trip.

The Seattle side entered the match at mostly full strength, being able to start a mostly preferred eleven. The match was an opportunity for Reign head coach Laura Harvey to become the winningest in league history.

As in many of the Reign home matches, they came out with a great deal of early pressure, creating chances. The Reign defense has needed to be staunch as the chances have been there but not the goals.

It did not take long for the Reign to break through. Rose LaVelle got in behind and through the Gotham defense in the 15th minute and blasted a left footed volley past Gotham keeper Michelle Betos. The challenge for the hosts moving forward would be could they expand their lead or would their defense have to hold a single goal lead.

Much of the first half was the Reign pressing, Gotham fighting to defend, taking counters when they could.

A 42nd minute penalty converted by Reign forward Megan Rapinoe would make it two nil going into the half. For an offense searching for goals of late, the late first half penalty finally gave the hosts a two goal first half for the first time since early May.

The second half continued the Seattle side bringing pressure. Both sides brought on fresh legs, Tobin Heath getting her longest run since joining the Reign coming on at the half.

Eventually, the pressure from the OL Reign offense broke through with a third goal. Jordyn Huitema managed to post up in the penalty area, and after receiving a long throw in, dropped a lay off pass to an unmarked Megan Rapinoe in full stride for a one touch right footed goal.

Gotham got one right back, Taylor Smith pounced on a soft defensive pass, taking the chance and cutting the lead. Unfortunately for Gotham, an own goal would follow moments later and the three goal margin returned with 15 minutes remaining.

The 4-1 score line would ultimately hold up. OL Reign would grab three big points on the day.

OL Reign host Houston Dash at Lumen Field

OL Reign 1
Houston Dash 2
August 7, 2022
NWSL Regular Season
Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Houston Dash made their first 2022 visit to the Pacific Northwest to play OL Reign at Lumen Field in Seattle on hot and sunny Sunday afternoon.

The clubs entered the match level on points and above the playoff line, but with Houston having a match in hand. As the playoff run in is ongoing, the head to head match in August felt additionally important.

Houston has now played a few matches under a new interim coach, altering any real ability of the Reign to really scout much more than the past few matches. The Dash came out and played with confidence, but with the hosts having more of the early play in possession trying to break through.

OL Reign did break through in the early going, Kim Little sent a diagonal through ball to Megan Rapinoe, Rapinoe then scoring her first goal of the 2022 season on a left footed volley to the far post past Houston keeper Jane Campbell. Reign coach Laura Harvey was clear she felt her side needs to be more ruthless in front of goal than they have been. The side has been creating chances, but goals have at times been at a premium despite those numerous opportunities.

The Seattle side continued to claim much of the first half possession. Houston did create chances in transition and came close on some mid half corners.

The Dash would pick up a couple of first half yellow cards, as Seattle picked up the pressure after the goal, looking to extend their first half lead.

The match went into the interval with the single goal margin.

The biggest question out of the interval would be whether the hosts would rue only scoring one first half goal in spite of a significant statistical advantage. Houston had weathered much of the first half attack and only a single goal would level the match.

In the 53rd minute Houston would level, as Ebony Salmon converted a penalty. A hand ball call gave the Dash the opportunity and they made the Reign pay. Moments later Salmon would score on a quick counter on the restart and suddenly the home side was down a goal instead of leading.

The final third of the match saw the Reign bring on Tobin Heath and other changes, to try and alter the sudden reversal of fortunes.

Houston not only reversed the score line, but halftime adjustments clearly changed the dynamic of the match, as the Reign did not find nearly as much success creating chances from their possession in the second half.

Houston saw out the match, defending strong against a fierce Reign pressure for a first ever win in Seattle. These are three big points for both clubs. Houston grabbed a three point lead now on the Reign, still with that game in hand. These are three big points dropped by the Seattle club.

The match was also the final match in Seattle for the Reign with Kim Little. Little’s loan from Arsenal was completed and she will be returning to London for the 2022-23 WSL season.

OL Reign head Coach Laura Harvey entered and ended the match tied for all time NWSL wins.

BOX

RGN: Rapinoe – 16’
HOU: Salmon – 53’, 55’

Discipline

RGN: Huitema (Caution – 41’), Quinn (Caution – 52’), Barnes (Caution – 64’), Lopez (Caution – 86’)
HOU: Prisock (Caution – 19’), Chapman (Caution – 37’), Groom (Caution – 65’)

Lineups

RGN: GK Tullis-Joyce, D Huerta, D Cook, D Lopez (Latsko 89’), D Barnes, M Fishlock, M Quinn (Stanton 63’), M Little, M Van der Jagt (Watt 76’), F Huitema (Heath 63’), F Rapinoe
Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, D McClernon, D Miramontez, F King, M Stanton, D Hiatt

Total Shots: 10 (Rapinoe – 5)
Shots on Goal: 6 (Fishlock – 3)
Fouls: 11 (Huitema – 4)
Offsides: 7
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 1 (Tullis-Joyce 1)

HOU: GK Campbell, D Chapman, D Prisock, D Naughton, D Jacobs (Hanson 46’), D Sanchez (Gareis 80’) M Viggiano, M Schmidt, M Groom (Ogle 68’), F Salmon (Abam 80’), F Prince (Eddy 90+3’)
Unused substitutes: M Visalli, GK Harris, D Alozie, F Farquharson

Total Shots: 7 (Sanchez, Salmon – 2)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Salmon – 2)
Fouls: 11 (Groom – 3)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 12 (Campbell – 5)

Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Clerc
Assistant Referee 2: CJ Koll
4th Official: Gloria Resendizavelle (USA)

Slideshow: Portland Thorns 2 at OL Reign 2

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.

BOX
Weather: 70, Sunny

Scoring Summary

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

Discipline

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

Lineups

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