NWSL Player of the Week: Jess Fishlock sparks OL Reign’s attack

Fueled By

Fueled By

(Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Jess Fishlock showed why she is the reigning NWSL MVP on Friday, notching a goal and an assist in OL Reign’s 2-0 victory over North Carolina.

The 35-year-old led the Reign to its first multi-goal win of the regular season, earning her JWS Player of the Week honors.

A Lumen Field crowd of 7,519 erupted when Fishlock secured the matchup’s breakthrough goal in the 52nd minute. The midfielder received a well-placed ball from Bethany Balcer, then took her first touch around the Courage goalkeeper to execute the go-ahead finish into an open net.

Fishlock returned the favor to Balcer in the 74th minute, playing a through ball to the forward, who split the North Carolina center backs before firing off a low shot to the near post.

As displayed by her creation of these two critical chances in the final third, Fishlock orchestrated OL Reign’s attack from the center of the pitch, finding space between North Carolina’s lines. She helped on both sides of the ball, launching two successful long balls, winning 63 percent of her duels and logging a pass accuracy of 67 percent.

Fishlock combined with Balcer, Tziarra King and new addition Kim Little brilliantly in the midfield, foreshadowing a revved-up and renewed Reign attack. While the offense started the regular season sputtering, OL Reign looks increasingly dangerous at fourth in the NWSL standings with Tobin Heath set to join the squad.

After her dominant performance during the club’s Pride Month fixture, Fishlock kept her remarks brief and celebratory, saying: “It was for the gays today.”