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OL Reign beat Kansas City Current, 1-0

Bethany Balcer scored in the 80th minute to break a long scoreless streak.

MikeRussellFoto / Sounder at Heart

It was a quick turnaround for OL Reign after their scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit on Sunday. Back at it, OL Reign hosted Kansas City Current at Lumen Field on Wednesday evening. For the majority of the match, the Reign knocked on the door of the opponent’s goal, but could not break through, and it felt like we might see another repeat of their past two matches.

Then finally in the 80th minute, we heard that classic song of a Sofia Huerta cross to Bethany Balcer’s head to the back of the net. Her goal was enough for OL Reign’s first regular-season win of 2022. The team also posted their third straight clean sheet.

Reactions to Uvalde and Gun Violence

The rest of the recap is going to be different. Forward Megan Rapinoe and head coach Laura Harvey spoke at the post-match press conference, with their comments focused entirely on Tuesday’s tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“From myself, from our team, from the whole organization, our whole heart goes out to everyone in Texas and every one of those families affected,” Rapinoe said. “It will change everybody’s lives forever in that community, and it’s just horrific. You know, it makes it seem pointless to come play really. It’s difficult to do that. I know everybody’s doing their job and having to show up today and trying to just sort of fake their way through it, but it’s just so heartbreaking.”

“Yeah, I think, you know, we needed it, but in light of what happened yesterday in Texas, I think that — as much as we’re really happy that we got the win and we know that that’s our job to do — we all came here with a heavy heart and wanting things to change,” Harvey echoed. “I’ve lived in this country now for nearly 10 years. And it’s mind-blowing to me that this continues to happen.”

“We’re living in an insane country when it comes to gun control and gun laws. There’s literally a mass shooting every day. It actually struck me when we went to do a moment of silence today, because we just did one three fucking days ago for a different mass shooting,” Rapinoe said, referencing the shooting in Buffalo, NY. “It’s literally the definition of insanity. The entire country is being completely held hostage, as Steve Kerr said last night. And I mean quite literally hostage, in a hostile environment — where you can go to church, you can go to the grocery store, you can go to school and end up dead — by whatever it is, 50 senators or 49 senators, whatever the number is, it’s just completely insane.”

Harvey and Rapinoe came back to the fact that many of us thought of our own children, nieces and nephews, and friends and family members after hearing the news.

“I’ve got a 3-year-old nephew who I just thought about immediately when I saw the news, and I’m sure everyone does that,” noted Harvey. “And to think that he may go to preschool and never go home is heartbreaking. To think of all the families that are being affected every day by this craziness. It needs to change. It needs to stop. There’s no excuse, and we want that to change immediately.”

“We all have people in our lives, kids in our lives, friends who have kids, teachers in our lives,” Rapinoe said. “And to hear some of the politicians stand up and talk about arming our teachers, like so they can kill someone? Like the logic to stopping a mass murder is to murder someone? It’s just fucking completely insane.”

A Call to Action

In her post-match remarks, Megan Rapinoe urged fans to use their voice to call on Congress to act.

“It [gun control] is just something that the vast majority of the country wants. I think it’s like every single mass shooting now, it’s just an AR-15. It’s just fucking insane. Obviously, nothing’s going to change immediately, but I urge people to use their voice and vote or to call their representatives, or to badger their representatives, or to vote them out if they don’t change this. Because we’re just quite literally being held hostage in this country for no reason whatsoever. The only reason that an AR-15 exists is to murder human beings. It’s not used for anything else. And it’s obviously very effective and it’s just heartbreaking.”

Before the match, OL Reign shared a link on social media with information on how to contact your U.S. Representatives.

The link takes you to a form created by Everytown that upon filling out is your digital support for sending an e-mail to your representative to support House Resolution 8, which would legislate background checks on all gun sales.

A similar message was shared by the club over email, with an additional comment: “With these senseless acts of violence continuing to take place in the United States, we believe it is important to reflect on how we, as a country, can make a change. Our club is currently in the process of creating ways to raise awareness against gun violence.”

“We’re looking at things that we can do, initiatives that we can do as a club, because we know we have a big platform to be able to voice things,” Harvey said.

It’s three days until OL Reign’s next match, once again in the comforts of home. OL Reign will host San Diego Wave FC on Sunday, May 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 PM PT — that’s right high noon, with Sounders FC hosting Charlotte FC later that evening. US viewers can watch the match on Paramount+ and international viewers can watch on Twitch.

Due to sensitivity of this post and high emotions following Tuesday’s senseless act of violence, we are keeping comments closed. If you felt compelled to share a comment here, we instead encourage you to focus that energy toward causes close to your heart which might further the goal of reducing gun violence in this country.

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