While OL Reign and the San Diego Wave played to a draw in their matchup Saturday, the Reign secured the top seed in the Challenge Cup semifinals.
Yet though San Diego is out of Challenge Cup contention, the 1-1 draw with the West Division champion is a promising sign for the expansion club’s regular season.
✨ C L I N C H E D ✨The West is won by @OLReign!🔜 #NWSLChallengeCup semifinals. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/4CjCwiOr1p— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) April 24, 2022
✨ C L I N C H E D ✨The West is won by @OLReign!🔜 #NWSLChallengeCup semifinals. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/4CjCwiOr1p
OL Reign got on the board early, with forward Ally Watt firing a shot into an open net after the Reign caught San Diego in transition.
The Wave, pushing hard through the opening half, finally found an opening in stoppage time off a corner. After a scramble to clear the set piece, the official called a handball on the Reign, awarding the Wave a penalty.
Alex Morgan stepped up to take the kick, burying the shot with poise to equalize.
.@alexmorgan13 is 💰 from the penalty spot.@sandiegowavefc | #WaveFC pic.twitter.com/fBhCGlEszV— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) April 24, 2022
.@alexmorgan13 is 💰 from the penalty spot.@sandiegowavefc | #WaveFC pic.twitter.com/fBhCGlEszV
The 1-1 scoreline held through the second half, with both sides unable to convert chances in the final third.
Saturday’s draw kept OL Reign undefeated atop the West Division at the close of group play in the Challenge Cup.
The team will continue its run in the semifinals on May 4, though its top seed comes with a caveat: OL Reign’s home stadium, Lumen Field, is unavailable that day due to a Seattle Sounders FC match. So they’ll head on the road for their semifinal match.