On Sunday afternoon, OL Reign traveled to the Windy City for a match against the Chicago Red Stars. On a water-logged field and in breezy conditions, the Reign earned a 3-0 win – booking their ticket to the postseason.
Megan Rapinoe scored a brace in a three-minute span, and fellow Reign Original Jess Fishlock added a goal in the 59th minute.
Here are three stats from OL Reign's dominant win.
According to FotMob, OL Reign players won 59% of their duels on Sunday afternoon. This was a stat that Chicago dominated in all of the club's recent wins dating back to July.
The Reign also won 18 tackles compared to 7 won for Chicago.
Emily Sonnett, in particular, dominated this category. Returning to the holding midfield role, Sonnett won 10/13 ground duels and went 1/1 on aerial duels. She also had a match-high 15 recoveries and won 3/4 tackles. Topping it all off, Sonnett had two clearances and an interception.
Veronica Latsko also won 8/11 duels and 3/3 tackles.
Winning those duels meant the Reign weren't panicking heading into halftime – despite having plenty of chances in the first half that they couldn't convert.
OL Reign finally found their goals in the second half, but the Red Stars did not want to finish the match without a fight. While Chicago was pushing to move the ball up the field and cause some chaos in the final 15 minutes, Sonnett and the rest of her Reign teammates held strong. As a result, Claudia Dickey only had to make one save to earn the shutout.
For the first time since June, more than 40% of OL Reign's shots were on target. In fact, the Reign put half of their 14 shots on target.
Unsurprisingly, the Reign won all four matches this season when they put more than 40% of their shots on target.
On top of improved finishing, the Reign were more dangerous in and around the box. The team's 1.8 expected goals (xG) total was their highest since June 10 – a 2-1 home win against the Kansas City Current – and the second-highest figure on the road all season after their season opener against the Washington Spirit.
Heading into the match, the Red Stars had only been shut out once in their last 10 regular-season games. In fact, they had scored 14 goals during that span of matches, which included games against North Carolina, Gotham, Houston, and San Diego – some of the teams with the best defensive numbers in the league.
The Reign held Chicago to one shot on goal and just 0.3 xG – the lowest for a Reign opponent and the lowest for the Red Stars this season.
The win gave OL Reign a fourth-place finish in the league standings. As a result, the Reign are hosting a match against Angel City FC in the first round of the playoffs. That quarterfinal battle kicks off at Lumen Field on Friday, October 20, at 7 p.m. PT.