Sunday, June 2, 2019
Venue: Cheney Stadium
Referee: Tori Penso
Assistants: Adrienne McDonald, Melissa Beck
Fourth Official: Levi Rippy
Weather: 70 degrees and sunny
RFC - Bethany Balcer 32’
HOU - Christine Nairn 90’
RFC - Shea Groom (caution) 45+2’
HOU - Ally Prisock (caution) 66’
LINEUPS & STATS
Reign FC - Casey Murphy; Theresa Nielsen, Megan Oyster, Lauren Barnes, Christen Westphal; Kristen McNabb (Morgan Proffitt 39’), Jess Fishlock, Morgan Andrews; Darian Jenkins (Ifeoma Onumonu 34’), Bethany Balcer (Maegan Kelly 84’), Shea Groom
Substitutes not used: Scout Watson, Jaycie Johnson, Steph Cox, Addison Steiner
Total shots: 19 (Balcer/Fishlock, 5)
Shots on goal: 7 (Balcer/Fishlock, 2)
Fouls: 8 (Groom, 3)
Offsides: 5 (Onumonu, 2)
Corner kicks: 5
Saves: 3 (Murphy, 3)
Houston Dash - Jane Campbell; Satara Murray, Amber Brooks, Ally Prisock, Ari Romero; Kristie Mewis, Christine Nairn; Kealia Ohai, Haley Hanson, Sofia Huerta (Jamia FIelds 80’); Cecelia Kizer (Ariana Calderón 74’)
Substitutes not used: Bianca Henninger, Jazmin Jackmon, Riley Smith, Taylor Comeau, Betsy Brandon
Total shots: 12 (Huerta/Ohai, 3)
Shots on goal: 4 (Ohai, 2)
Fouls: 7 (Murray/Prisock, 2)
Offsides: 2 (Hanson/Ohai, 1)
Corner kicks: 1
Saves: 6 (Campbell, 6)
Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski
His thoughts on the match
I think we played as hard as we could. I thought we started well and dictated the pace of the game for the majority of the game. When we have to make (substitutions) early in the game, it changes the way we played. Different personnel, different habits, different strengths and weaknesses. That was tough for us. At the end, I’m still happy with the performance, but we have to close it out all the way.
On making two substitutions in the first half due to injury
Both of them could not finish or play anymore. We expect (the injuries) not to be too dangerous, but we expect them to be out for a couple weeks, if not more. Unfortunately we had to make those subs. I thought both of them, before they came out were very steady for us and did very well in controlling, with McNabb balancing the team both vertical and horizontal but also controlling the midfield and allowing Jess to play a little more freely than Morgan Andrews. Darian was dangerous all the way through. She made things happen for us.
Bringing on new players every few weeks and getting everyone on the same page
With these injuries as frustrating as it is we got to keep our head up and keep working hard. We have a core group of players that are doing very well for us and they are definitely helping the process with senior leadership in Jess and Lauren. In helping new players but in the end it’s not going to be like having the whole gang with you.
Reign FC forward Bethany Balcer
On being named Reign FC’s Player of the Match
I’m just trying to use the skills I’ve been blessed with to contribute to this team. One of those is goal scoring. Every opportunity I can get on goal I am going to take it and go for it. I’m grateful to be at center forward now and just always trying to find ways to contribute to my team and as a forward, that’s scoring.
On being more comfortable after four games
I am definitely settling in a lot. There were definitely nerves towards the beginning of the season so It’s nice to finally just relax a little bit, every time I touch the ball I don’t have to freak out.
On how the injuries affected the match
It was still our game plan to get in behind. (Ifeoma) knew that. She executed well. Morgan Proffitt came in and I thought she played an amazing game. It definitely shakes the game up a bit. It’s a different starting eleven out there, but I thought we finished the half well.
Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy
On settling in with Reign FC
The team has made it really easy to transition here. Especially with me having been overseas, they’ve been really welcoming and are really happy with how I’ve been settling in. I’m looking forward to continuing to work.
On facing Sofia Huerta’s penalty in the 30th minute
That was the first penalty I’ve faced with this team. I have to give credit to the coaching staff. They do well to prepare me for those moments: set plays, penalties, corners. (They teach me) other players’ tendencies. I feel confident when I’m in those situations because of the work my coaching staff and team has done to prepare me for those moments.
On the chemistry with the back line
Communication is key, especially with the back line. Organizing and making sure we’re constantly on the same page. Here, it’s easier, because there’s no language barrier. When I was playing overseas, there was. Now that I’m back here in the States I have no excuse to not communicate and not be on the same page with everybody.
Houston Dash head coach James Clarkson
His thoughts on the match
I’m happy we eventually got a point, but I’m disappointed. I was quite optimistic that we could come here and win. I thought we played much better in the second half. It’s one of those things where you score at the end, there’s lots of positives. I feel like the players are devastated that we didn’t pick up the three points.
On Houston keeper Jane Campbell
I thought Jane was great. We’ve conceded some goals throughout this season, but today I thought she really stepped up. She made a fantastic save at 1-0, that in reality if they had scored that, we would have probably lost the game. Even in the second half, (her stop) off the free kick really kept us in the game. She’s a leader on the team. She helps the organize the back line and she made some really good saves today.
On if Sofia Huerta is the regular penalty taker
Not anymore [laughing]. I give them all two misses and then we take a look at it. (Rachel) Daly usually takes them, but Sofia is very confident. I have confidence in her. I fully expected her to score. It’s one of those things. We’ve seen it earlier in the year when we played the Reign at the beginning of the season. These things happen. It’s just unfortunate. We keep going. When we get the next one, I fully expect her to step up and take it.
Houston Dash midfielder Christine Nairn
On how it feels to score
That was a bit of a relief for me. I think James said it. It wasn’t my best performance, at all. To be able to counteract that with a goal helps my confidence and hopefully continues to build the team’s confidence as we go in to our next game.
On her opinion of Cheney Stadium as a former Reign FC player
I think it’s a little bit different, but in a good way. Playing on grass always helps. That was one of the biggest complaints at Memorial Stadium. But playing in a different market and being more open to fans around the state is huge. You really heard the crowd today. At Memorial, it sometimes ebbed and flowed. I think they’re doing a great job down in Tacoma.
On the team’s discussion at halftime
At halftime, (Kealia Ohai) and (Amber Brooks) and (Jane Campbell) gave us an earful. They said ‘that wasn’t good enough.’ That’s as simple as it was. James came in. I can’t really repeat what he said, but he wasn’t very happy. We all weren’t happy. We just want to control the things we can, and that’s our effort. If the effort is there, everything will take care of itself. We can make opportunities out of nothing. I think that when we started getting the ball down and playing one and two touch and swinging the point, I think that we were pretty successful.