Utah Royals FC Suffers First Defeat of NWSL Challenge Cup

HERRIMAN, Utah – (Wednesday, July 8, 2020) – Utah Royals FC (1-1-1, 4 points) dropped its first points of the NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret in a 1-0 loss to OL Reign on Wednesday morning. 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year proved to be the savior for OL Reign, netting the team’s first goal of the tournament in stoppage time to give her side the victory. 


Postgame Quotes from URFCvRGN.


The two sides played to a scoreless first half with each side seeing their fair share of chances at goal, including a shot from forward Brittany Ratcliffe in the second minute that forced Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos to make a far reaching save to keep the ball out of the back of the net. 


A chippy second half saw much of the same, with even more chances at goal. However, Royals FC were unable to break through the Reign’s defense. In the last minutes of the match Reign got their first goal of the tournament to take the lead and eventually the win courtesy Balcer who nodded home a cross from Yuka Momiki in the 91st minute.


UP NEXT: URFC will wrap up the group stage of the tournament on Sunday, July 12 against Chicago Red Stars. The match is set to kickoff at 8:00 p.m. MT. 



RGN: Bethany Balcer (Yuka Momiki) 90+1st minute: After receiving a pass outside the top right corner of the box, Yuka Momiki sent a perfect cross that landed directly on the head of an incoming Bethany Balcer who flicked the ball into the back of the net. 



- Defender Maddie Nolf received her first start for Utah Royals FC, while Nicole Barnhart and Mallory Weber got their first starts of the 2020 NWSL season. 


- Defender Taylor Leach and midfielder Aminata Diallo made their club debuts when they came on as substitutes at halftime for Rachel Corsie and Maddie Nolf, respectively. 


Match: Utah Royals FC vs. OL Reign

Date: July 8, 2020

Venue: Zions Bank Stadium; Herriman, Utah

Weather: Sunny and 90 degrees


Scoring Summary:           1          2          F 

Utah Royals FC                  0          0          0

OL Reign                             0          1          1

RGN: Bethany Balcer (Yuka Momiki) 90+1’



Utah Royals FC (3-5-2): Nicole Barnhart; Elizabeth Ball, Rachel Corsie (Taylor Leach 46’), Kate Del Fava; Michelle Maemone (Katie Bowen 46’), Maddie Nolf (Aminata Diallo 46’), Lo’eau LaBonta, Vero Boquete, Mallory Weber (Raisa Strom-Okimoto 76’); Brittany Ratcliffe (Diana Matheson 79’), Amy Rodriguez

Subs not used: Abby Smith, Melissa Lowder, Gaby Vincent, Holly Daugirda, Gunny Jonsdottir, Tziarra King, Taylor Lytle, Marissa Sheva, Arielle Ship, Chestley Strother


OL Reign: (4-3-3): Michelle Betos; Amber Brooks, Alana Cook, Steph Cox, Celia Jimenez Delgado (Rebecca Quinn 68’); Kristen McNabb, Dani Weatherholt, Shirley Cruz (Bethany Balcer 69’); Jasmyne Spencer (Taylor Smith 55’), Jodie Taylor (Yuka  Momiki 81’), Darian Jenkins (Mariah Lee 81’)

Subs not used: Casey Murphy, Carly Nelson, Lauren Barnes, Machaela George, Madison Hammond, Adrienne Jordan, Rosie White, Allie Long, 


Stats Summary: UTA / RGN

Shots: 11 / 15

Shots on Goal: 5 / 5

Saves: 4 / 5

Corner Kicks: 1 / 4

Fouls: 9 / 13

Offside: 1 / 1





Referee: Danielle Chesky

Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Tiffini Turpin

4th Official: Karen Katja Kroleva