Reign FC (0-1-3, 3 points) kept their first clean sheet of the season Saturday in a scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit (1-1-1, 4 points). The club forced a pair of highlight-reel saves from Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe in the match’s closing minutes at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Reign FC held Washington from tallying a shot on goal in the first half, forcing the Spirit’s attackers into the wide channels and low-percentage shots.
Washington manager Richie Burke made a halftime switch to bring on forward Cheyna Matthews for Amy Harrison. Matthews made an immediate impact, helping manufacture three shots on target and a blocked shot in the first six minutes of the second half.
Reign FC adjusted to the new pressure and pursued opportunities at the other end of the field. Theresa Nielsen found Jodie Taylor with a low cross in the 71st minute, but Taylor’s quick shot at the edge of the six-yard box was pounced on by Bledsoe.
Reign FC managed another chance in the 85th minute. Substitute Bethany Balcer poked at a bouncing ball sent in by an Elise Kellond-Knight corner kick and put the ball on frame, but Bledsoe swiped the ball away with her arm.
Two minutes later, Reign FC lined up for a free kick just outside the 18 after Matthews was cautioned for handling the ball. Kellond-Knight curled a free kick over the wall, but Bledsoe made a diving stop to punch the Australian’s shot away.
Reign FC outshot Washington 18-12, including a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. Reign FC Michelle Betos made four saves in keeping the club’s first clean sheet of the season.
Reign FC enters a bye week before hosting Sky Blue FC for its second home match at Cheney Stadium on Saturday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
Match: Reign FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: May 4, 2019
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Md.
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 75 degrees, cloudy and rainy
Goals by half 1 2 Total
RFC 0 0 0
CHI 0 0 0
WAS – Cheyna Matthews (caution) 86’
RFC – Lauren Barnes (caution) 88’
Lineups & Stats
RFC: GK Michelle Batch, D Celia Jimenez Delgado, D Lauren Barnes, D Megan Oyster, D Theresa Nielsen, M Kristen McNabb, M Rumi Utsugi (Elise Kellond-Knight 72’), M Beverly Yanez, F Darian Jenkins (Bethany Balcer 46’), F Jodie Taylor (Maegan Kelly 83’), F Shea Groom
Substitutes Not Used: GK Lydia Williams, D Christen Westphal, M Morgan Proffitt, F Kiersten Dallstream
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
Shots on goal: 9
Corner kicks: 9
WAS: GK Aubrey Bledsoe, D Megan Crosson, D Sam Staab, D Paige Nielsen, D Dorian Bailey, M Amy Harrison (Cheyna Matthews 46’), M Andi Sullivan, M Meggie Dougherty Howard (Bayley Feist 80’), F Ashley Hatch, F Jordan DiBiasi, F Cali Farquharson (Chloe Logarzo 66’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Shae Yanez, D McKenzie Berryhill, D Carlin Hudson, F Arielle Ship
Head Coach: Richie Burke
Shots on goal: 4
Corner kicks: 9
About Reign FC
Reign FC is one of nine teams in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – the world’s most competitive women’s professional soccer league. Reign FC features many of the top players from the United States, including U.S. Women’s National Team superstars Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long, as well as top players from around the world. Reign FC began its first campaign in the South Sound at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium in April of 2019. For more information on the club visitReignFC.com.