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Seattle, WA (05/22/2022) – The Spirit battled OL Reign to a scoreless draw Sunday afternoon in Seattle. Both sides tallied a point in the table, bringing Washington to five points and the squad from Seattle to three points through four matches.
Goalkeepers Aubrey Kingsbury and Phallon Tullis-Joyce each kept a clean sheet making nine and three saves, respectively. Tullis-Joyce got things started with a save of an Ashley Sanchez shot from the top of the box in the fourth minute before the Reign controlled possession in the sides’ attacking third for the better part of 30 minutes. In the 12th minute, a driving Veronica Latsko fired a shot wide from the top of the box and a minute later, Bethany Balcer headed a crossing pass just over the crossbar. Jess Fishlock then fired a shot wide right in the 16th minute.
The Reign tried an entry lob into the box in the 22nd minute that Kingsbury was able to step up and intercept before any damage could be done. Just three minutes later, Kingsbury again had to make a stop when she was able to punch out a ball that came off the head of Fishlock.
The Spirit found itself with a scoring chance again in the 34th when Ashley Sanchez received a feed in the box and took a sliding shot from close range that was knocked aside and out of bounds. Before the half, the Reign’s Latsko made a great move to get around a defender, drove in and fired a shot directly off the crossbar. Rose Lavelle was able to corral the rebound and make a move at the net but was unable to get a shot off as the Spirit defense stifled the threat.
The first 30 minutes of the second half saw another long Spirit offensive drought as the Reign mostly held control of possession well into the final third of the match. In the 53rd minute, Rose Lavelle deflected a crossing pass on net but Kingsbury was there to make the save. In the 68th minute, the Reign’s Ally Watt found herself on a breakaway with a clear shot at the goal but Kingsbury again made a play to keep the match level at zero.
Starting in the 77th minute, the Spirit started to show some offensive life when rookie Maddie Elwell broke away with just Tullis-Joyce to beat. Her sliding shot was ultimately blocked away by a closing defender and out for a corner kick. The very next minute, Ally Watt again had a breakaway opportunity but fired her shot directly into the hands of the defending goalkeeper of the year.
Substitute Tinaya Alexander, who entered the match in the 70th minute, put together two driving opportunities in the 79th and 84th minutes but had one saved and one blocked away by a defender. The Reign put together multiple threats in stoppage time and almost stole a win when Sofia Huerta took a shot on goal that was stopped by Kingsbury. The Spirit survived the late push by OL Reign and earned a second point to bring home from the week-long west coast trip.
Washington will travel south to Orlando for a Friday night matchup with the Pride on CBS Sports Network this week. After the third consecutive road match, the Spirit will be back in action in Leesburg, Virginia on Wednesday, June 1 when the side hosts the Chicago Red Stars in a rematch of last year’s championship match.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: OL Reign vs. Washington Spirit
Date: May 22, 2022
Venue: Lumen Field
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. PT
Weather: partly cloudy, low-70s
OLR: 91- Phallon Tullis-Joyce; 3- Lauren Barnes; 17- Sam Hiatt; 4- Alana Cook; 11- Sofia Huerta; 10- Jess Fishlock; 5- Quinn (19- Sinclaire Miramontez 87’); 6- Angelina (15- Megan Rapinoe 46’, 23- Tziarra King 87’); 16- Rose Lavelle (33- Olivia Van der Jagt 71’); 24- Veronica Latsko (7- Ally Watt 61’); 8- Bethany Balcer (2- Nikki Stanton 90’+7’)
Unused Substitutes: 18- Laurel Ivory; 14- Jimena López; 21- Phoebe McClernon
WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 30- Camryn Biegalski; 3- Sam Staab; 6- Emily Sonnett; 21- Anna Heilferty (5- Kelley O’Hara 62’); 16- Julia Roddar (22- Amber Brooks 77’); 7- Taylor Aylmer (12- Andi Sullivan 62’); 33- Ashley Hatch (29- Maddie Elwell 69’); 13- Bayley Feist (17- Tinaya Alexander 70’); 2- Trinity Rodman (27- Audrey Harding 77’); 10- Ashley Sanchez
Unused Substitutes: 14- Morgan Goff; 18- Devon Kerr; 4- Karina Rodriguez
Stats Summary: OLR / WAS
Shots: 20 / 7
Shots On Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 3 / 9
Shots Blocked: 2 / 1
Fouls: 8 / 10
Offside: 2 / 3
WAS – Trinity Rodman – 71’ – Yellow Card
OLR – Olivia Van der Jagt – 74’ – Yellow Card