OL Reign suffered an uninspiring loss to the Houston Dash Saturday afternoon to remain winless after two games in the NWAL Challenge Cup. The Reign secured a point in a game one 0-0 draw against the Sky Blue FC. In that game, the Reign pushed the ball forward and created chances.
In the loss to the Dash, the Reign lacked creativity and execution according to assistant head coach Sam Laity.
“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.”
Houston struck 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.
OL Reign next faces Utah Royals FC on Wednesday, July 8 at 9:30 a.m. PT.