Riding a strong defensive performance Reign FC snagged a road point in the 1-1 draw with Sky Blue FC. The lone goal against was only the seventh road goal given up in the seasons nine road matches so far in 2019.
Reign FC are the NWSL leaders in road goals against average at 0.78. Their 15 road points are third in the NWSL. Against Sky Blue the defense also contributed to the offense.
“(The defense) kept Sky Blue to few shots on goal until late in the game when they got four or five shots. Other than that they were very good and controlled the attack,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “They also did well in the buildup and started our attack very well.”
Reign FC defenders Steph Catley, Lauren Barnes, Megan Oyster, and Theresa added seven key passes to the potent attack. In the match Reign FC generated 18 shots, including 15 that came via a key pass.
Though only one goal came from the attack, the potential for a multi-goal outburst was on display.
“I’m happy that we generated shots and more opportunities,” said Andonovski. “We came up a bit short on goals, but that comes down to the final touch and putting the ball in the net.”
Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan won the NWSL Save of the Week and collected five saves in total. Sheridan felt the pressure throughout the day from Reign FC.
Every player who played 69 or more minutes contributed at least a shot or a chance created. Five of those ten players had at least three shots or chances created. Reign FC midfielder Rosie White lead the attack, participating in nine total opportunities.
With White pulling Sky Blue’s defenders into a crooked line Reign FC forward Jodie Taylor had more space to operate. Taylor earned the Reign FC Player of the Match with her one goal and four assists on just 33 touches.
Operating out of the 4-2-3-1 Andonovski’s side sends every player into the attacking half at times. Even the centerbacks will help switch the angle of attack as one of Barnes and Oyster can create overloads. The two more defensive central midfielders support further forward as well.
Utilizing players across all bands and roles to attack, lead to dominance everywhere but the scoreboard. It is a strong sign for the future as the playoff race heads into the final stretch.
“It comes down to getting points,” said Andonovski. “If we are getting points it doesn’t matter what anyone else does. If we are not getting points than it doesn’t matter what anyone else does we will not be in the top four.”
The club is not watching the scoreboard, rather they are focused on their own performances. Andonovski expects all elements on the field to contribute to all phases of the game. On Sunday that was apparent.
“We want to be dangerous from anywhere,” Andonovski emphasized.