Reign FC lost its second match of the season on the road on Saturday, dropping a 2-0 result to the North Carolina Courage. Reign FC used all three of its subs before the start of the second half as temperatures rose to the low 90s.
The loss ended Reign FC’s league-best eight-match unbeaten streak.
The Courage took the lead in the 22nd minute, when Williams picked up a ball from the right side from Kristen Hamilton and raced into the area, finishing past keeper Casey Murphy for her fifth goal of the season.
Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski opted to make his first sub in the 41st minute, removing forward Shea Groom for Maegan Kelly. The issues compounded for the club in the 44th minute, when Bev Yanez went down on the pitch and was eventually replaced by Addison Steiner.
Left back Steph Catley nearly equalized for the club before the whistle. The Australian international rifled a shot off the crossbar in the third minute of first-half stoppage time that bounced down toward goal, but did not cross the line before it was cleared away.
Reign FC made its third sub just before the start of the second half, inserting Kristen McNabb for Celia Jiménez Delgado, who made her second consecutive start as an attacking midfielder.
Murphy was named Reign FC’s Player of the Match, making eight saves including a point-blank stop against Williams in the 49th minute to keep the match a one-goal game at the time.
North Carolina put Reign FC under pressure throughout the match, outshooting the visitors 23-8, including a 10-1 advantage in shots on target.
Reign FC will have a chance to recuperate as it enters a bye week. The club is back in action at Cheney Stadium on Sunday, July 28 at 1:00 p.m. PT against the Chicago Red Stars.