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OL Reign score in stoppage time to beat Angel City FC, 2-1

Olivia Van der Jagt’s late goal keeps the Reign atop the West division.

Mike Russell

Fresh off a convincing two-goal victory over San Diego Wave FC, OL Reign were back in Lumen Field, this time hosting the other new expansion team, Angel City FC. Fans were treated to stoppage time heroics by one of OL Reign’s new faces, as midfielder Olivia Van der Jagt scored the match-winning goal in the fourth minute of added time. Bethany Balcer scored first for OL Reign in the 34th minute, while Angel City FC’s Simone Charley claimed a goal in the 83rd minute.


WHAT WORKED: TEAMWORK

You can set Balcer’s goal in the 34th minute to your favorite piece of classical music. Just sit back admire the sequence that began with Quinn, to Ally Watt, and then Balcer for the silky smooth finish.

WHAT WORKED: YOUR NEW HOMETOWN HERO, OLIVIA VAN DER JAGT

Not a bad four-day span for the hometown kids. After making her professional debut last Thursday, Van der Jagt got another start on Sunday and wrote her entry in the chapter of stoppage time heroics by the club.

And if you wondered if Van der Jagt’s goal that deep into stoppage time is one for the record books, the answer is yes.


WHAT DIDN’T WORK: ILLNESS

Minutes before OL Reign revealed their starting lineup and available subs, the league announced that midfielder Rose Lavelle would be unavailable for the match. This followed up a morning update that Angel City forward Christen Press had been ruled out due to COVID protocols. It’s never fun to have star players miss out on games, but this is the world we live in. It should be noted that league availability reports have specific designations for illness versus COVID-related matters, and fans can only hope that both players recover fully and properly from their specific ailments.


“It’s been a whirlwind.”

That was how Van der Jagt summarized the four-day span in which she had her professional debut and notched an assist, then scored her first goal for the club. Van der Jagt said it wasn’t originally planned for her to start after playing the full 90 minutes on Thursday. However she said she had to prepare for the possibility the night before because of Lavelle’s illness, which ultimately required adjustments to the planned lineup for Sunday.


With the win, OL Reign are assured a spot in the Challenge Cup semifinals, because at worst they will finish as the team with the best second-place record in the tournament. While Portland can match OL Reign on points after the final group stage game and could pass them on goal differential to take first in the West Division, only one team in each of the other divisions can surpass OL Reign’s point total. However, one point from the Reign’s final game will assure them of first in the West.

OL Reign close out the group stage of the Challenge Cup with a trip down to San Diego to face San Diego Wave FC. The match is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 with a kickoff of 7 PM PT. The match will be broadcast on Paramount+ in the US, while international viewers can watch on streaming platform Twitch.

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