OL Reign Pull off Hollywood Ending against Angel City

July 31, 2022 – National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – OL Reign News Release

SEATTLE, WA. – OL Reign (5-3-5, 20 points, 4th place) pulled off an incredible comeback win against Angel City FC (5-5-2, 17 points, 7th place) after going down 2-0 in the first half. This win featured forward Jordyn Huitema’s debut and goals from midfielder Jess Fishlock, defender Sofia Huerta and forward Tobin Heath.

At the start of the match, OL Reign displayed the patient play that head coach Laura Harvey spoke about in the pre-match press conference this week but hit a stroke of bad luck in the ninth minute of the match, when Angel City forward Claire Emslie took a shot on goal, forcing goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce to make a diving save. Angel City midfielder Cari Roccaro was waiting in the box to finish the rebound, putting OL Reign down a goal early in the match.

Despite being down a goal, the Reign continued to work the ball around the field, looking to break the strong backline of the Angel City. Fishlock and Quinn worked hard to control the midfield, allowing the Reign to find two shots.

In the 26th minute of the match, Angel City forward Sydney Leroux dribbled into the 18-yard box and drew a foul, earning a penalty kick for the home team. In the 28th minute, Angel City midfielder Savannah McCaskill stepped up to the spot and found the back of the net, increasing Angel City’s lead to 2-0.

The Reign nearly found their first of night in the 32nd minute when Fishlock fired a powerful a shot into the crossbar. Huitema was there to collect the rebound, heading the ball on frame but Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haračić was there to make the save.

In stoppage time of the first half, Fishlock was fouled in the box, earning a penalty kick for the Reign. Midfielder Kim Little stepped up to the spot to take the kick, but Haračić came up with a save. At the halftime whistle, Angel City was up 2-0.

After the break, OL Reign came out determined to pick up points on the road. The scoring began in the 54th minute when forward Tziarra King combined with Fishlock to play her in on goal. Fishlock sent her shot to the far post past Haračić to kickstart OL Reign’s comeback.

Just ten minutes later, defender Sofia Huerta scored the equalizer for OL Reign in the 64th minute. Little served a corner kick into the box, where Haračić got a piece of it. However, the ball was cleared out of the box to a waiting Huerta, who blasted the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards out.

In the 81st minute of the match, it looked like Fishlock had found the game winner, when midfielder Rose Lavelle played her a ball in the box, and she was one on one with Haračić. However, Angel City’s goalkeeper came up with another save to keep the score level at two goals apiece.

As time was running out, substitute Tobin Heath was the difference maker. Huerta worked to carry the ball to the endline and serve a cross into the box, where Heath got on the end of it, finding the back of the net and securing three points for the Reign on the road.

Key Facts:

– This was OL Reign’s first road win of the season and first three-goal comeback after being down 2-0 since its 3-2 win against NJ/NY Gotham FC on August 21, 2021.

– OL Reign tallied a season-high 25 shots in the match, outshooting Angel City FC 25-9. Additionally, the Reign finished with a single-game season-high in goals (three) and expected goals (2.64).

– OL Reign had three different players score a goal in tonight’s match for the first time since its 5-1 win over the Houston Dash on August 7, 2021.

– Midfielder Jess Fishlock scored in the 54th minute to close in on Angel City’s lead 1-2. The 35-year-old finished the night with a team-leading six shots, four on target, which were both single-game highs for the Wales international.

– Fishlock has three goals this season and 37 all-time in the regular season in her career, moving her up to 11th all-time with Rachel Daly.

– Forward Tobin Heath gave the Reign their first lead of the match in the 89th minute off a cross from Sofia Huerta, securing the win 3-2. The goal was Heath’s first NWSL regular season goal since April 28, 2019.Heath has 13 goals all-time in her career during the regular season.

– Defender Sofia Huerta scored in the 64th minute from outside the box to tie the match 2-2. Huerta finished the night with one goal, one assist, and three shots. The three shots are a single-game high for the defender. The 29-year-old is also the third player on the Reign this season to have a goal and an assist in the same match, joining forward Bethany Balcer and midfielder Jess Fishlock.

– Huerta has 34 goals and 28 assists all-time in the regular season in her career, which puts her into the top-15 all-time scoring leaders in NWSL regular season history.

– Forward Jordyn Huitema made her debut for OL Reign, marking her first-ever NWSL start and appearance. The Canadian international finished the match tied for the most shots (six) on the team, with three on target.

– The Reign have won every match against Angel City FC, leading the all-time series 4-0-0.

UP NEXT: OL Reign’s next match is Tuesday, August 2 at 5:00 p.m. PT on the road against Racing Louisville.

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