Canadian connection OL Reign improved in a 3-0 win against Orlando Pride on Saturday night in Seattle, lifting their team over the Portland Thorns to first place into the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs — winning the 2022 NWSL Shield as the top team of the regular season.
Toronto native Quinn collected the ball in midfield in the 24th minute of the game with OL Reign already 1-0 up, slotting the ball past a defender to Chilliwack, BC, native Jordyn Huitema, who patiently waited for Orlando goalkeeper Erin McLeod of Calgary before tucking it in. .
Huitema put his last marker for Reign (11-4-7) in a September 9 draw, the only error in a 6-0-1 record for the NWSL’s hottest team. They are riding a four-game winning streak going into the postseason.
With the win, OL Reign leapfrogged Thorns, who drew 3-3 against NJ/NY Gotham FC earlier in the day, to claim their first NWSL Shield since 2015.
With the title, each player on the team gets a bonus of US$10,000, increased from $5,000 for this season.
WATCH | Canadian Connections helps OL Reign secure the 2022 NWSL Shield:
The formation of the playoff image
Reign and Thorns will both earn a bye to the semifinals, while the San Diego Wave, Houston Dash and Kansas City Current will take part in the quarter-finals on October 15.
The Pride (5-10-7) ended their four-game losing streak with a draw against the San Diego Wave on Sunday, but were unable to move up from 10th with Saturday’s result.
Huitema helped set up Reign’s opener in the eighth minute, finding Megan Rapinoe alone up front as the American football legend scored in her 100th appearance with the team.
Who else besides…
His goals and assists saw Huitema earn his first multi-point attempt of his NWSL career, coming in the 10th game after joining the team in July.
Bethany Balcer also scored for Reign in the 31st minute, drawing with Rapinoe to lead the team in goals for the season with seven goals.
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