OL Reign Drops Match to Houston Dash
OL Reign suffered its first defeat at the NWSL Challenge Cup on Saturday, dropping a 2-0 result to the Houston Dash at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
Assistant head coach Sam Laity said the club’s execution lacked refinement in the loss.
“It had to do with the complete performance,” Laity said.“From a quality perspective, it was poor from us today. As an example, there were 14 misplaced passes under no pressure during the game. At any level, you can’t be successful if your quality is not there. Overall, from back to front I don’t think our quality was anywhere near what we expect or what we need to be successful in this league.”
Houstonstruck first in the 12th minute, when the Dash used quick buildup play up the right side of the pitch and a layoff pass from Shea Groom to spring Kristie Mewis at the top of the penalty area. Mewis struck a waist-high shot that beat Casey Murphy to the right post for the opening goal.
Houston forward Shea Groom added to the advantage in the 54th minute. A quick ball out of the midfield found Rachel Daly in stride and the forward swung a cross in from the right side that Groom headed in to make it 2-0.
Houston narrowly out-shot OL Reign 10-8, but outdueled the club 48-38 despite conceding 57.7 percent of the possession.
“In this league—as everybody knows if you’ve spent five minutes in the NWSL—this league is extremely transitional,” Laity said. “If you are a team that wants to be successful, you want to make the game less transitional as much as possible. You don’t want to have a game that’s transitional against Houston, which is what we prepped for. You don’t want to have a game that’s transitional against North Carolina. When you don’t have control of the ball, especially with so many misplaced passes, you cannot allow (for that) at the start of the game. Then you’re playing into the hands of a team like Houston that want to hit teams on the break. There were zero surprises in this game. The places where we broke them down were where we expected that to find, we knew what their threats were going to be and we knew where they were going to come from.Simply, our performance wasn’t good enough. The only thing that surprised us about the game was our own performance.”
OL Reign next faces Utah Royals FC on Wednesday, July 8 at 9:30 a.m. PT.
OL Reign vs. Houston Dash Match Report
Date: July 4, 2020
Venue: Zions Bank Stadium, Herriman, Utah
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 85 degrees, clear and sunny
HOU – Kristie Mewis (Shea Groom) 12’
HOU – Shea Groom (Rachel Daly) 54’
HOU – Bri Visalli (caution) 47’
RGN – Kristen McNabb (caution) 83’
Lineups & Stats
RGN: GK Casey Murphy, D Kristen McNabb, D Lauren Barnes, D Amber Brooks, D Taylor Smith, M Rosie White (Dani Weatherholt 63’), M Allie Long (Celia Jiménez Delgado 75’), M Shirley Cruz (Morgan Andrews 78’), F Darian Jenkins, F Bethany Balcer (Jodie Taylor 63’), F Nicole Momiki (Jasmyne Spencer 63’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Michelle Betos, GK Carly Nelson, D Alana Cook, D Steph Cox, D Machaela George, D Madison Hammond, D Adrienne Jordan, F Mariah Lee
Head Coach: Farid Benstiti
Shots on goal: 0
Corner kicks: 5
HOU: GK Jane Campbell, D Allysha Chapman, D Katie Naughton, D Megan Oyster, D Ally Prisock (Erin Simon 82’), M Sophie Schmidt, M Kristie Mewis (Haley Hanson 82’), M Shea Groom (Christine Nairn 82’), F Katie Stengel (Veronica Latsko 77’), F Rachel Daly, F Bri Visalli (Nichelle Prince 63’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Lindsey Harris, GK Amanda Dennis, M Cami Privett, M Maegan Kelly,F Bridgette Andrzejewski, F CeCe Kizer, F Jamia Fields, F Kayla McCoy
Head Coach: James Clarkson
Shots on goal: 4
Corner kicks: 2
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