Reign FC (2-1-3, 9 points) will face the Houston Dash (3-2-1, 10 points) for the second time this season at Cheney Stadium on Sunday, June 2 at 1:00 p.m. PT. Reign FC drew its first match against the Dash in their season opener back on April 14.
“We’ve got a bit of momentum after these last two wins,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “It’s important that we make the most of every match, every time we take the pitch.”
Last Match: 2-1 W vs. North Carolina Courage
Reign FC secured its first-ever win over the North Carolina Courage on May 27, defeating the Courage 2-1 at Cheney Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,032.
Bethany Balcer headed in her second professional goal in the 13th minute, as a Reign side replenished by the return of midfielder Jess Fishlock from loan helped the club dominate the middle of the park.
Shea Groom added a second goal in the 86th minute, which proved to be the game-winner after Abby Erceg scored a goal for the visitors three minutes later.
Reign FC faced the Dash in their season opener, finishing in a 1-1 draw. Nichelle Prince capitalized on a defensive miscue 10 minutes in to give the hosts the lead, but Darian Jenkins equalized for Reign FC in the 58th minute. Jodie Taylor had a chance to win the match in second half stoppage time after drawing a penalty, but her effort was saved by Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell.
The Dash have had seven players called in to their respective national teams for the Women’s World Cup. While no Houston players were named to the U.S. Women’s National team, four Dash players will represent Canada (Prince, Sophie Schmidt, Lindsay Agnew and Allysha Chapman), with one player each representing Jamaica (Kayla McCoy), Australia (Clara Polkinghorne) and England (Rachel Daly).
Houston will also be without the services of Meleana Shim, Veronica Latsko, and Kyah Simon, all of whom are injured and unavailable for the game.
The Dash are coming off a bye week after dropping a 2-1 result at home to the Chicago Red Stars on May 19.
“Houston is quite a different team from last year. They’re a lot more organized, more disciplined. They’re very dynamic. Just because we’re playing at home doesn’t make it any easier. It will be different, but not easier. It will be a tough game for us, but I believe in the qualities of our team and our players. I think we’ll do whatever it takes to get a positive result.”
Murphy Impresses in First Start
Goalkeeper Casey Murphy made her club debut for Reign FC in the win over North Carolina. Twelve days after joining the club from Montpellier HSC in the French Division 1 Féminine, Murphy went the full 90 and made four saves to record her first victory.
“For that to be her first game, I just can’t wait to see what she’s like after that,” Fishlock said. “She’s so confident. It’s so nice to have her come out and take the crosses. She really nullified North Carolina’s play because she can come out and deal with crosses and pick up those ball. I think her distribution was great. I think she was exceptional. I know I got Player of the Match, but I’d happily pass that on to her.”
There are four players unavailable for Reign FC for Sunday’s match:
Michelle Betos (ruptured achilles)
Taylor Smith (torn ACL)
Jasmyne Spencer (torn ACL)
Beverly Yanez (ankle)
How to Watch
Tickets for Sunday’s match can be purchased at Ticketmaster, via phone at 855-REIGN-FC, or at the Cheney Stadium Box Office.
Fans in the U.S. unable to attend the match in person can watch the game on their phone, computer or streaming device on Yahoo! Sports, while fans outside of the U.S. can watch the match live on NWSLsoccer.com.