OL Reign made history Thursday night as they took down San Diego Wave FC by a final score of 3-1 in the first-ever meeting between the clubs.
Nikki Stanton, Bethany Balcer and Sam Hiatt all scored for OL Reign, with the three goals coming in a span of 11 minutes to start the match – making the Reign the fastest team to score three goals in NWSL history. Stanton’s goal came in the second minute, then Balcer scored in the eighth and Hiatt in the 11th.
3⃣ goals in the first 11 minutes are the fastest from kickoff any team has scored 3 goals in a match in @NWSL history (all competitions). #2 in the 2' (@GutiNikki7's 1st for OL Reign!)#8 in the 8'and at 11' @samhiatt16's first for OL Reign 🔥#BoldTogether pic.twitter.com/Qq6gqEOxmv— OL Reign (@OLReign) April 15, 2022
3⃣ goals in the first 11 minutes are the fastest from kickoff any team has scored 3 goals in a match in @NWSL history (all competitions). #2 in the 2' (@GutiNikki7's 1st for OL Reign!)#8 in the 8'and at 11' @samhiatt16's first for OL Reign 🔥#BoldTogether pic.twitter.com/Qq6gqEOxmv
“I wasn’t quite sure that it was going to go in,” Hiatt said. “Then it did and I was so excited, so happy … It’s pretty surreal. Even though we’ve had two games (at Lumen Field, the Seattle Seahawks’ stadium), it still feels amazing.”
Alex Morgan scored the lone goal for San Diego in the 24th minute.
“Having so many players starting for the first time, it could be easy to not (start strong),” Reign coach Laura Harvey said. “We made a very conscious decision to make that an important factor of the game and we got rewarded with those three goals.”
With the win, OL Reign is now the sole leader of Group B in the NWSL Challenge Cup with 10 points through four games. Portland Thorns FC sits in second with seven points while San Diego third with four.
The top teams out of each division advance to the Challenge Cup semifinals while the top-ranked second place team gets the fourth slot.
The Reign will next play on Sunday, hosting Angel City FC – who are still looking for their first Challenge Cup win – at 6 p.m. ET.