OL Reign has had a number of really fun, gritty, entertaining matches against the Portland Thorns over the years. And the Reign have scored some great goals as well. Ahead of their doubleheader match this weekend — which kicks off at Lumen Field at 4 PM — we pulled together 10 of our favorite Reign goals against their rivals. Did your favorite make the list?
Megan Rapinoe, May 23, 2021
For the last few years, the Reign-Thorns rivalry didn’t quite have the same bite. The games were intense, but the extra hatred was missing. That changed this year when the Reign — widely considered the underdogs coming into this match — beat the Thorns 2-1 at Providence Park. Christine Sinclair put the Thorns up early, but the Reign fought back, and this Rapinoe free kick was the spark that started it all.
1,047 days since her last regular season goal, @mPinoe is back in style #PORvRGN | https://t.co/bONPZnnmCJ | #NWSL21 pic.twitter.com/PQ8cco2pnn— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) May 23, 2021
Bethany Balcer, September 29, 2019
In 2019, the Reign beat the Thorns three times during the regular season — two gritty 1-0 wins and a 2-0 victory at home that clinched a playoff spot for the Reign. Bethany Balcer subbed into that match during her Rookie of the Year season and scored this dagger in the 81st minute to seal the win. There wasn’t much room at the near post, but Balcer found it.
This rookie's on— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) September 29, 2019
2-0 | #SEAvPOR on ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/rrqK9AAJuS
Rumi Utsugi, May 5, 2018
An early regular-season match at Providence Park. This is a very different-looking Reign side, with just a ton of new players and a new head coach in Vlatko Andonovski. It’s 2-2 in the 75th minute, and Rumi Utsugi does this on a designed corner kick play. Talk about threading the tightest needle possible. What a hit! The Reign walked away with a 3-2 win.
Megan Rapinoe, July 1, 2017
Ok, this is cheating a bit, because Rapinoe scored two goals in these highlights. But the first goal epitomizes what this rivalry means to Pinoe. She capitalizes on a Thorns defensive blunder, slides the ball into the net, and then screams in the face of Emily Sonnett, the defender who just had the whoopsie. Pinoe. Loves. Scoring. Against. Portland. (The second goal is pretty rude in the best way, as well.)
Jess Fishlock, May 6, 2017
Jess Fishlock scores bangers. We all know that by now. This goal was no exception. Scored in the first minute against the Thorns — on the road at Providence Park — Fishlock did her best to silence the loud crowd early. What’s even more impressive about this goal is that Fishlock steals the ball from Lindsey Horan; that’s not easy to do. And if this goal feels familiar, it might be because Fishlock basically had a repeat banger a year later.
Megan Rapinoe, August 27, 2016
After tearing her ACL at the end of 2015, Megan Rapinoe missed the entire first half of the 2016 season. She recovered enough to make a few appearances in a disappointing Olympics for the U.S. After that, her first game back with the Reign was against the Thorns. She subbed on late in the second half. At the end of the game, holding a slim 2–1 lead, Rapinoe finished a breakaway goal to help the Reign earn their first victory over the Thorns this season. She makes this one-time shot look WAY too easy.
Kim Little, July 22, 2015
This was the only goal scored in a 1-0 win on the road against Portland — in front of a record-breaking crowd of 21,144. Kim Little gets the ball in space outside the box, takes on two defenders, makes a great hesitation dribble, holds off a physical challenge in the box, and slots it into the back of the net. She makes it look ridiculously easy. It’s amazing how often she did (and still does) that.
Naho Kawasumi, July 27, 2014
This was Naho’s second goal in a 5-0 Reign thrashing at home against Portland. Naho does a great job sneaking behind the defense and getting back onside at the perfect time. Second, this is a Vintage Kim Little (TM) ball into the box. Naho is easily able to run onto it and sends a perfect volley into the far corner of the net.
Naho Kawasumi, July 27, 2014
We all knew by this point in 2014 that Naho was an amazing creator. But at just 5’ 2” she wasn’t really known as someone who scored many goals with her head. On this glorious day, Naho proved us wrong. We already shared the second goal Naho scored in this match, but this was definitely our favorite. What a ball from Little. And look at the hops on tiny Naho! We were all smiling widely after this beautiful play.
Jess Fishlock, April 21, 2013
Ah, 2013. Such a tough year for Seattle Reign fans. But this moment early in the season won us over and made Jess Fishlock one of the most beloved Reign players in the team’s short history. The goal isn’t all that impressive. But it was a delight to see both Fishlock and Winters, a pair that would become a force in the NWSL, work hard to win the ball on a cross — especially with Seattle down 2-0 at this point. Fishlock’s reaction after the goal made this one so memorable. THAT is a player who loves her team.