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Utah Royals lose final NWSL Fall Series game to OL Reign

The Utah Royals FC season would end with a 2-0 loss in Tacoma.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Utah Royals FC played their final match of the NWSL Fall Series to a 2-0 loss against OL Reign.

The Royals started a strong lineup, with ample rest and this being their final showing of 2020 it wasn’t surprising to see a near full strength lineup. The only notable absences were Vero Boquete and Kate Del Fava who both sat due to injury.

The Royals otherwise started a strong lineup, despite missing Boquete.

Utah was under pressure pretty quickly from the Reign. They were testing the Utah backline and forced Abby Smith into a save with the ball off the crossbar early in this one.

Elizabeth Ball went down with a minor injury about 10 minutes into this contest, but she came back on and continued playing just moments later.

Between Sofia Huerta and Emily Balcer, URFC was kept on their heels in the first half. Both had their fair share of looks, but the game really had end to end action.

Huerta found the first goal in this game in the 23rd minute as she found some space at the top of the six-yard box to beat Smith.

At the end of the half, Utah was outshot 15-3 but only found themselves down one goal despite being dominated the majority of the first half.

Sadly, it didn’t take long for OL Reign to find their second goal. Leah Pruitt would find her first goal in a Reign uniform after getting a lucky bounce at the top of the 18-yard box that she looped over Smith.

It took Utah a few minutes to make an adjustment after the goal, ultimately opting to bring Gaby Vincent for Aminata Diallo to sure things up defensively in the 63’. The team made another sub in the 66’ to bring on Michele Vasconcelos for Brittany Ratcliffe. This would be Vasconcelos first minutes in a Utah Royals jersey.

Tziarra King found Utah’s most promising look in the 74’ that Reign goalkeeper Casey Murphy was able to save. Moments later, King subbed off for Arielle Ship.

In the 79th minute, Vasconcelos has another good look, but Murphy denies her, too. Amy Rodriguez then hits a shot just wide second latter.

Utah had a good run of form for a few minutes, but despite a few good looks at goal were unable to find anything to truly test Murphy. The Royals failed to find a goal in this one and the game, and the Utah Royals season would end with a 2-0 loss.