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Led by DJ Bethany Balcer, OL Reign step up goal celebrations

OL Reign's Bethany Balcer and Sam Hiatt celebrate after Saturday's 5-2 win against the Chicago Red Stars at Lumen Field. (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

OL Reign are leading the NWSL in goal celebrations, with players coming up with new and creative ways to take them to new heights.

Bethany Balcer scored the first two goals in Saturday’s 5-2 win against the Red Stars, and she didn’t disappoint. After the first, she ran to the Reign bench and chugged a cup of fake beer. After the second, she again went to the bench, but this time she used a set of headphones to play DJ, complete with record scratch.

Assistant coach Scott Parkinson helped with both goal celebrations, a trend Balcer plans to continue as the season goes on.

“Me and Scott decided we’re going to have a partnership this year on all the goals,” Balcer said. “When the league steps up their celebrations, we have to, too. And I feel like they’re so fun now. In the past, I’ve felt like, ‘Hoo, I scored a goal.’ But now I’m like, let’s have a little dance party before we go back, because it’s fun.”

Fellow Megan Rapinoe also provided an assist on the second celebration, entering the pitch to hand the headphones to Balcer — and earning herself a yellow card.

Jess ​Fishlock also scored two goals Saturday. After her viral chicken dance celebration in the team’s Challenge Cup opener last Wednesday, she followed that up with another dance, this one inspired by her nephew. He had seen Fishlock do the chicken dance and sent her choreography for her next goal.

Rapinoe, already a known goal celebrator, also got in on the action after her own tally in Saturday’s win. And she’s even inspiring other players, including USWNT teammate Alex Morgan, to join the fun.

“Pinoe always has the best celebrations,” Morgan said on the latest episode of Snacks. “And everyone else is just like, ‘Yayyyy!’ I need help. I need help from anyone and everyone.”