SANDY, Utah – (Sunday, August 11, 2019) – Utah Royals FC (7-6-3, 24 points) defeated Reign FC 3-1 behind three separate goal-scorers to clinch the club’s first-ever victory over Head Coach Laura Harvey’s former club.
FW Katie Stengel, MF Lo’eau LaBonta and FW Amy Rodriguez each scored while GK Nicole Barnhart made one save to preserve the victory as Utah moved within two points of the fourth and final playoff spot in the NWSL standings.
Utah Royals FC got off to a strong start when Rodrgiuez’s shot was deflected to the path of Stengel in the third minute of the match and she chested the ball down into goal to take the 1-0 lead. Near the end of the first half Reign FC stole one back after Shea Groom collected a bouncing ball in the box and sent the ball deep into the back of the net to send the match into halftime at 1-1.
LaBonta single-handedly put URFC back in control of the match when she dribbled the ball down the center of the field, dodging several Reign FC players before chipping the goalkeeper to retake the lead. Nearly 10 minutes later Rodriguez got in on the action when she pounced on a poorly collected shot from goalkeeper Casey Murphy to secure the win.
UP NEXT: URFC continues its three-game road stretch in Florida, facing the Orlando Pride on Saturday, August 17 at 5:30 p.m. MT at Exploria Stadium. The team will then head North as they prepare to take on the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, August 21.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
UTA: Katie Stengel, 3rd minute: Amy Rodriguez dribbled the ball down the right side of the field, getting a shot off that was duly deflected by goalkeeper Casey Murphy and the post directly to Katie Stengel. Using her chest Stengel guided the ball into the back of the net to take the lead for Utah Royals FC, marking her first goal of the season.
RFC: Shea Groom, 41st minute: After both teams got a head on the ball, forward Shea Groom collected the settled possession and fired off a shot with her right foot, beating an outstretched Nicole Barnhart to level the score.
UTA: Lo’eau LaBonta, 59th minute: Splitting the Reign’s defense, Lo’eau LaBonta dribbled the ball down towards the middle of the box, dodging a tackle before chipping it over Casey Murphy to put Royals FC back in the lead.
UTA: Amy Rodriguez, 67th minute: Katie Stengel got a rocket of a shot off from near the top of the 18-yard-box that was poorly collected by Reign goalkeeper Casey Murphy, allowing Amy Rodriguez to slip in and hammer it home for the third goal of the match.
- The match marked the first time Utah Royals FC faced Reign FC since the opposing side relocated to Tacoma, Washington and Cheney Stadium.
- FW Katie Stengel recorded her first goal of the season and subsequently became the first player in club history to score against Reign FC.
- Utah Royals FC’s goal in the 59th minute, scored by MF Lo’eau LaBonta, marked the first time the club has gone up by two goals on the road this season, it was also LaBonta’s second goal of the season.
- FW Amy Rodriguez’s goal marked her seventh of the season, tying her with Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair for the third-most in the league.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Reign FC
Date: Aug. 11, 2019
Venue: Cheney Stadium; Tacoma, Washington
Weather: Clear and 75 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 2 3
Reign FC 1 0 1
UTA: Katie Stengel 3’
RFC: Shea Groom 41’
UTA: Lo’eau LaBonta 59’
UTA: Amy Rodriguez 67’
Utah Royals FC (4-4-2): Nicole Barnhart; Mallory Weber, Becky Sauerbrunn ©, Rachel Corsie, Katie Bowen; Vero Boquete, Katie Stengel (Gunny Jónsdóttir 74’), Lo’eau LaBonta, Desiree Scott; Amy Rodriguez (Makenzy Doniak 90’+1), Christen Press
Subs not used: Abby Smith, Sydney Miramontez, Maddie Nolf, Gaby Vincent, Erika Tymrak
Reign FC (4-3-3): Casey Murphy; Celia Jimenez Delgado, Megan Oyster, Lauren Barnes ©, Steph Catley; Rebecca Quinn (Beverly Yanez 60’), Allie Long, Rosie White; Shea Groom (Ifeoma Onumonu 46’), Jodie Taylor (Darian Jenkins 66’), Bethany Balcer
Subs not used: Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Morgan Andrews, Theresa Nielsen, Morgan Proffitt
Stats Summary: UTA / RFC
Shots on Goal: 6/2
Corner Kicks: 2/2
RFC: Allie Long (caution) 14’
RFC: Celia (caution) 68’
UTA: Mallory Weber (caution) 81’
Referee: Karen Abt
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Kali Smith
4th Official: Levi Rippy