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OL Reign begin 2023 season with 1-0 loss at Washington Spirit

The possession, the chances, yet no goals.

NWSL: OL Reign at Washington Spirit Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Rejoice, the NWSL is back!

Your favorite team, OL Reign, kicked off their 2023 campaign on the road at Washington Spirit, though not on the tone they wanted to, coming away with a 0-1 loss.

The game’s lone goal came from Washington’s Trinity Rodman in the 54th minute.

For OL Reign it was a game that fans will be quite familiar with from much of their 2022 campaign, where they possessed the ball, had all of the chances, but could not finish in the final third. That frustration on the offensive side resulted in that momentary lapse in which there is a lack of communication, players not in their proper spaces on the field, and the opposition punishes them.


And in true fashion, it started the way we’re all used to, with technical difficulties on the broadcast!

In all seriousness, the first matchday of a new NWSL season is always a good day. Even if the result did not go in OL Reign’s favor. Starting the campaign in the loss column is never fun, but the NWSL season is long and chaotic. OL Reign know they have some work to do to meet the expectations of being a playoff-bound, NWSL Shield and NWSL Championship contender.


Starting strong is always good, but the OL Reign’s first 45 minutes of the season kickoff played the same song as we heard so often in 2022, in not having that final touch to finish the chances. Their best effort came in the 16th minute on a Jess Fishlock header from a Sofia Huerta cross, but it was denied thanks to a surefire Save of the Week nominee by Aubrey Kingsbury.


What you never want to do is give Trinity Rodman space and time with the ball. Especially from a throw-in, yet that’s exactly what happened in the 54th minute resulting in the opening goal for Washington Spirit.


The best chance OL Reign had to get an equalizer in the second half was this ball Jordyn Huitema had where she just took one touch too many, when the better choice would have been to just let it rip.

There was something positive to see in Rose Lavelle and second-half substitute Elyse Bennett making connections in search of an equalizing goal, but just like in the first half, the chances were not converted.

“Sorry, I’m grumpy.”

Rose Lavelle voiced her frustration after the match about the recurrence of a negative trait of OL Reign’s play going back to last season. Possess the ball, make all of the chances, dominate the stat sheet and have no goals to show for it.

Lavelle did praise Elyse Bennett’s impact coming in as a sub, and how they were able to find each other on the field a couple of times, but Lavelle concluded that she’d needed to watch the tape again to see it, as she famously and understandably said in the moment, “Sorry, I’m grumpy.”

“Deja vu is how it felt.”

Laura Harvey echoed the sentiment of another performance in which her team controlled every aspect of the game, except in the one that matters the most. She said in her post-match press conference, “If we have the amount of chances we have today, we have to leave the field with a minimum of one goal. And we didn’t do that and we got punished for it.”

OL Reign remain on the east coast for their next match, as they head up to New Jersey to face Gotham FC. The match is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 with a 4:30 PM PT kickoff.

Fans in the US can watch the match on Paramount+ and local network FOX13+ for those in the greater Seattle region, while international fans can watch on

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