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OL Reign Earn 2-1 Comeback Victory over Kansas City

May 3, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - OL Reign News Release


TACOMA, WA. - OL Reign played its last match of the 2021 Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant against Kansas City NWSL on Monday night at Field of Legends in Kansas City, Kansas. OL Reign (2-1-1, 7 points) finished in second place in the five-team Western Division. Kansas City (0-3-1, 1 point) finished in fifth place in the Western Division.

OL Reign started the game disjointed, allowing Kansas City to pose a constant offensive threat in the early minutes of the match. The Reign defense were not able to connect, with several miscommunications between the center and outside backs.

In the sixth minute, Kansas City forward Mallory Weber notched the first goal of the match and her first of the Challenge Cup, when Victoria Pickett played her a ball through the Reign defense. From the top of the 18-yard box, Weber curled a ball into the top corner of the net, beating Reign goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

The Reign thwarted several back-to-back Kansas City attacks successfully, building their confidence to get forward. In the 15th minute, Lauren Barnes got up the sideline and put a cross into Shirley Cruz at the far post. Cruz got her head on the ball, but Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart was able to make the save.

In the 25th minute, the Reign had a spell of possession that ended with Kansas's City defense scrambling to block the Reign's attempts on goal. Jess Fishlock fired a powerful shot, but KC's defense thwarted the attack and the Reign was again unable to come away with an equalizer.

In the 33rd minute, Tziarra King did well to carry the ball into the box and drew a foul, winning a penalty kick for the Reign. Fishlock stepped up to the spot to take the kick, which she easily converted, sending Barnhart the wrong way with a low, powerful shot to the left side of the goal.

With the game tied, both teams were looking for their second goal before halftime. OL Reign began to apply quick pressure to Kansas City, particularly in the offensive third of the field, forcing several mistakes. King picked up a yellow card for her efforts in the 35th minute.

Bardsley was called on again before the end of the half, having to take action in the 40th and 41st minutes, as well as twice in stoppage time, stopping attempts on goal from Amy Rodriguez, Chloe Logarzo, and Lo'eau LaBonta. Despite several chances for Kansas City in the closing minutes, the half ended 1-1.

Similar to the first half, Kansas City was on the attack from the whistle, but the Reign worked to gain possession back, working in their defensive half of the field rather than pressing forward into a more dangerous area.

In the 54th minute of the match, Pruitt played a ball through to Fishlock, who made an overlapping run near the top of the 18-yard box. Fishlock received the ball and attempted to chip Barnhart, but Barnhart was able to make the save.

Fishlock consistently lead the Reign team up the field, working off the ball and aggressively pressuring KC, leading to a yellow card in the 59th minute. Fishlock got another chance on goal in the 65th minute, taking a low shot from outside the box, but Barnhart saved again.

OL Reign continued to press up the field, earning several back-to-back corners in the 71st and 72nd minutes. Pruitt found three shots in this sequence, two of which were blocked, with another hitting the crossbar. Celia also earned a shot, but it was blocked by the Kansas City defense.

Bethany Balcer, who subbed on for King in the 70th minute, put a strong shot on goal after getting beyond the Kansas City defense, but Barnhart again managed the save. Pruitt, who had been applying intense pressure on Kansas City all game, picked up a yellow card in the 79th minute.

The Reign earned another corner in the 84th minute. Barnes found the ball and flicked it on to Celia, who headed the ball into the net from the right side of the six-yard box, putting the Reign up 2-1.

With four minutes of added time, the Reign fought to keep their lead, clearing every dangerous chance Kansas City created until the final whistle sounded, allowing OL Reign to come away with the 2-1 victory. This marked the first road win for OL Reign since August 2019.

OL Reign will take on the North Carolina Courage in their first match of the NWSL regular season on Saturday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. PT at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now, with ticket prices starting at just $16.00 per game.

MATCH SUMMARY

2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant

OL Reign (2-1-1) 2-1 Kansas City (0-3-1)

Date/Time: Monday, May 3, 2021, 5:00 p.m. PT

Location: Field of Legends, Kansas City, Kansas

Weather: 67, cloudy

Scoring Summary

KC: Mallor Weber 6'

RGN: Jess Fishlock 34', Celia 84'

Discipline

RGN: King (Caution 35'), Fishlock (Caution 59'), Pruitt (Caution 79')

KC: None

Lineups

RGN: GK Karen Bardsley, D Celia, D Kristen McNabb, D Madison Hammond, D Lauren Barnes, M Quinn Weatherholt 79'), M Shirley Cruz ©, M Jess Fishlock (White 86'), F Sofia Huerta (Angelina 86'), F Leah Pruitt (Momiki 86'), Tziarra King (Balcer 70')

Unused substitutes: GK Cossette Morche, D Amber Brooks, D Machaela George, D Steph Cox

Total Shots: 18 (Pruitt - 5)

Shots on Goal: 8 (Fishlock - 3)

Fouls: 15 (Cruz - 3)

Offsides: 1

Corner Kicks: 8

Saves: 5 (Bardsley - 5)

KC: GK Nicole Barnhart, D Katie Bowen, D Taylor Leach, D Rachel Corsie, D Kristen Edmonds (Maemone 62'), M Jordyn Listro (Scott 63'), M Lo'eau Labonta, M Chloe Logarzo (Nolf 45'), F Victoria Pickett (Jenkins 78'), F Amy Rodriguez, F Mallory Weber (Michele Vasconcelos 29')

Unused substitutes: D Gaby Vincent, GK Carly Nelson, M Addie McCain, F Jaycie Johnson

Total Shots: 10 (Rodriguez - 4)

Shots on Goal: 6 (Rodriguez - 2)

Fouls: 6 (LaBonta - 2, Listro - 2)

Offsides: 2

Corner Kicks: 5

Saves: 6 (Barnhart - 6)

Officials

Referee: Karen Callado

Assistant Referees: Kali Smith, Jack Feldman

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