Utah Royals FC headed to Tacoma to face Reign FC in their first of three consecutive road matches. US international Kelley O’Hara missed this match due to her ankle injury sustained during the US Women’s National Team victory tour. Also, Mandy Laddish was still out with her concussion and Rebecca Moros with her right leg injury.
Going into this one, Utah Royals FC was being viewed as the underdog. Reign FC sat in fourth place with three wins in their last five matches in comparison to Utah’s one. Regardless of this, though, Utah notched an early goal. Katie Stengel scored the goal off a rebound from Amy Rodriguez’ shot off the post. The assist from Rodriguez was fitting as she has an extensive history in dashing the hopes of the Reign. Her goal was Stengel’s first goal of 2019, and URFC’s first goal against Seattle ever. Just three minutes in, Utah had the upper hand.
In the eighth minute, Reign FC had a good look. Center back partnership of Becky Sauerbrunn and Rachel Corsie did what they do best and cleared the ball from danger.
The first disciplinary action would be taken against the Reign’s Allie Long in the 14th minute after she tugged Press’ jersey on a breakaway.
Reign FC had two close looks in the span of just a few minutes around the 25th minute, though both shots went into the side netting. Utah’s early goal woke up the Reign, and they were getting better looks than Utah for the majority of the first half.
It would take Reign FC until the 40th minute to find their equalizer, but they had their share of opportunities. Shea Groom scored the goal after being unmarked around the penalty spot. It was her second goal of the year.
With a goal a piece, these two teams headed into halftime tied 1-1.
Coming out of the half, Reign FC subbed off their goalscorer Groom to bring on Ifeoma Onumonu.
Christen Press had a rocket of a shot in the 49th minute that went just wide. It was nearly identical to a shot from the Reign just minutes prior.
The early minutes of the second half was incredibly back and forth from these two teams. Both got great looks and were forcing the other keeper into big saves.
Utah Royals FC broke down Reign FC once again the 60th-minute thanks to a Lo’eau LaBonta goal. She dribbled her way through the box and beat Reign keeper Casey Murphy to get her second on the season and give Utah the lead.
Just seven minutes later Rodriguez would find Utah’s third goal after Murphy spilled a shot that fell right into Rodriguez lap. This is just the third time in club history Utah has scored three goals.
Reign FC’s Celia got a yellow in the 68th minute for pulling on Press’ jersey, similarly to Long’s foul and yellow card in the first half.
URFC fans nearly got to see a Press-Rodriguez combination goal in the 71st minute, but the goal would ultimately be called back for offsides.
In the 74th, Utah would make their first sub to bring off Stengel for Gunny Jonsdottir.
Malory Weber was shown yellow for delay of game after taking too long on a throw in in the 81st minute.
Makenzy Doniak would sub in for Rodriguez in the 90th minute.
This match ended 3-1 in favor of Utah Royals FC, giving Utah their first win over the Reign FC in club history.
Utah’s next match will be August 17th at 5:30 MST in Orlando.