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OL Reign earn 100th all-time regular season win with 2-0 defeat of Houston Dash

Veronica Latsko leads the way with a goal and assist.

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

After a scoreless draw against Angel City FC in a midweek NWSL Challenge Cup meeting, OL Reign were back at Lumen Field on Saturday, hosting the Houston Dash. The match marked the return of former long-time Reign assistant coach Sam Laity to Seattle, now as head coach of Houston.

It would turn out not to be a happy return trip for Laity and his Dash side, as goals from Veronica Latsko and Jordyn Huitema powered OL Reign to a 2-0 victory, a historic one at that as they became the second club in the NWSL to claim 100 regular season victories.

That was not the only milestone, as with the clean sheet, goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce became the club’s all-time clean sheet leader. The clean sheet capped a solid team effort on defense containing Houston’s trio of Ebony Salmon, Diana Ordóñez, and María Sánchez.


Veronica Latsko has been praised by OL Reign coaches and teammates for her hard work ethic, endless energy, and adaptability to come into any game situation and do what is asked of her. Her effort was rewarded as she picked up a goal and an assist tonight.

First, there was the goal in the 53rd minute off, what else, a textbook cross into the box by Megan Rapinoe.

Then Latsko contributed to Jordyn Huitema’s redemption after her goal in the 13th minute was taken away by a questionable handball call. Huitema’s goal in the 68th minute doubled OL Reign’s lead.


The real coronation on Saturday, May 6, was goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce becoming the club’s all-time leader in clean sheets. She did that tonight by making three saves to claim her 12th clean sheet since joining the team halfway through the 2021 season.


It looked like Jordyn Huitema had opened the scoring for OL Reign in the 13th minute, but a VAR check had determined that she committed a handball foul when initially trapping the ball, and thus no goal. Naturally, fans in attendance and those watching and rooting for OL Reign were not happy.

“Ronnie will grind a game out”

OL Reign forward Huitema was all praises for Latsko after the match. Since joining OL Reign in 2022, Latsko has started matches, come off the bench to provide a spark, close out a game, just about everything short of play goalkeeper. It’s the versatility that Laura Harvey favors, knowing she can call on her in just about any situation, and her teammates know this.

“No matter if she hasn’t played for a few games and she’s in to play 90 [minutes], she will play 90 [minutes] and she will play it till the final whistle goes and I think everybody has so much trust in her, including the staff, that I think it pays so much for her mindset and everybody knows that Ronnie will always be on. I haven’t seen a game where [Latsko] is off, I have not. I genuinely haven’t seen her come in and not try her best and you know that’s what you’re going to get. I think she’s so consistent and I think that’s why we have so much faith in her and I know that’s why the staff have so much faith in her to come in no matter when we need her, at any point, she shows up,” said Huitema.

“It was weird.”

Laura Harvey on facing off against former longtime assistant Sam Laity tonight. Harvey told media after the match that she had sent Laity a message shortly after the full-time whistle saying that going up against him was weird and that she didn’t like it. Harvey complimented Laity on the decade they had worked together and that, finally, he was getting his chance to be the head coach and build out his own program.

“When I came back with Utah (Royals) the first time at Memorial, it was probably the most emotional I’ve ever been at a game. When we shook hands at the start, he said to me, it was weird and he had a little bit more emotion differently at the end, with the result. But yeah, I’m so happy for him. I’m so happy that he’s getting the credit he deserves. I think you can see in his team that they’re well coached, well prepared, they’ve got a game plan - you can see what it is. I’m just really happy for him that he’s getting that credit because he’s been someone that I’ve leaned on for 10 years and to trust someone like that and to have gone through stuff with someone like that to actually see them get that credit, it’s just great. So, I knew tonight would be weird and I’m sure it was for him. I’ve already messaged him and said that was weird, I didn’t like it,” said Harvey.

“I’m grateful for this environment and for this team.”

When Latsko was asked about her adaptability to come into just about any situation of the game that Harvey asks of her, Latsko got a bit reflective on her soccer journey from the University of Virginia, to the Houston Dash, and with stints in Australia before joining OL Reign in 2022.

“I’ve had two really bad injuries. I’ve had two ACLs, and soccer has been taken away from me. I think, for me, every time I step on the field, I try to remember how grateful I am to be able to be here and to be in this environment where, regardless if you’re getting five minutes or 90 minutes, you’re treated so well as a human being. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing for me—you can have an amazing soccer coach who treats you like garbage and you’re miserable when you’re off the field but when somebody treats you with such respect and you matter regardless of the minutes that you’re getting, like our staff does and our teammates do, it makes the biggest difference and it makes you so committed to this team so that regardless if there are games that you don’t get in or there are games that you get in and you’re in like stoppage time and you’re just that sub and it’s like, yeah is it a bit of a dagger to go in at that time? Yeah, but at the end of day, your team trusts you enough to put you in and close out a game or to be there - whatever role that you may need to be in. I’m just really grateful for that. I’m grateful for this environment and for this team.”

The win and results around the league, specifically North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC playing to a 3-3 draw, puts OL Reign at the top of the table with 13 points through six matches played.

And speaking of the North Carolina Courage, that’s who is up next for OL Reign. OL Reign travel to Cary, North Carolina, to take on the Courage on Saturday, May 14, with a noon PT kickoff. Those in Seattle can watch the match on local network FOX 13+ in addition to the usual Paramount+ for those in the US, TSN+ for those in Canada, and for all other international fans.

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