Tuesday, May 24, 2022

NWSL weekend recap: Wave’s Alex Morgan sets record, OL Reign boss Laura Harvey says refereeing ‘beyond a joke’

Eight teams were in action as the NWSL wrapped up its second week of action with a triple header on Sunday after the Challenge Cup crowned the North Carolina Courage champions on Saturday. 

The overlap in the schedule meant that both the Spirit and Courage regular season games against the Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns were rescheduled to June 8 and August 24 respectively, and the remaining regular matches resumed as scheduled. 

Let’s take a look at some of the regular season action across the weekend:

Alex Morgan sets a record

San Diego Wave FC defeated NJ/NY Gotham FC 4-0 on Saturday as Alex Morgan recorded all four goals during the lopsided victory. Morgan is now only the third player in NWSL history to have such a game, and now holds the record for most recorded shots in a game with 14. Even more impressive, 13 of them were inside the box.

Happy Mothers Day to NWSL’s goal scoring moms

Along with Morgan’s four goal game, other moms across the league also got on the scoreboard for their clubs. Jessica McDonald scored for Racing Louisville FC in a 2-2 draw against OL Reign, while Sydney Leroux scored the game winner for Orlando Pride against Angel City FC. 

The win for Orlando is their first win of 2022, and their first NWSL victory since September 2021, where they defeated Racing Louisville FC a game in which Leroux also scored as Orlando won 3-1. 

Officiating frustrations boil over for Laura Harvey

Frustrations continue to mount with officiating early in the season. OL Reign kicked off their home opener at Lumen Field with a 2-2 draw against Racing Louisville FC where the Pacific Northwest side came from behind during the first half and held a lead near the hour mark before a controversial moment during an equalizer from Louisville. 

A set piece play by Louisville delivered by Savannah DeMelo created some chaos inside the six as Reign keeper Tules-Joyce made a play on the ball and OL forward Bethany Balcer made an attempt to clear the ball off the line, as the AR ruled that the ball crossed the line to make the game level.

It was ultimately credited as an own goal and credited, somehow, to OL’s Angelina, who was standing at the top of the box as the entire event took place inside the six area. Though eventually the goal was switched, and Balcer, received the own goal “credit.”

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OL Reign’s Angelina somehow credited with an own goal Paramount+

OL Reign have voiced their concerns with a number of refereeing decisions over the last week, both during their Challenge Cup semifinal against the Spirit, and now during a regular season fixture. Though, after the game, head coach Laura Harvey tried very hard not to comment any further. 

“Yeah, honestly, I don’t really feel like I can say anything because I’ll get fined. Because I’m not allowed to publicly speak about the officials,” said Harvey.

“Do I think VAR would be great in the league? Yeah,” she commented further. “We’d probably have three hour games, but I think it would be great. I just can’t talk about it. It’s beyond a joke right now. So, there’s just no point me saying anything.”

Balcer also expressed frustrations via her twitter, explaining she spoke with the sideline official for clarity on  the in game call.

Look ahead

NWSL regular season action continues on Saturday May 13 as OL Reign host Portland Thorns FC at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. Fans can watch all the Cascading Rivalry on CBS Sports Network.

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