OL Reign have been eliminated from NWSL playoff contention.
The team fell 0-2 against the Kansas City Current in the semifinal match on Sunday, seeing their postseason hopes come to an end. The Current opened up the scoring with a goal by Alexis Loera in the fourth minute, before Kristen Hamilton doubled the tally in the second half to secure the win.
The Reign has qualified for the NWSL semifinals every year since 2018, but continuously fail to advance to the final. The franchise has yet to lift the title, coming close as runner ups in 2014 and 2015.
“Obviously going down that early is never good, but I didn’t feel like we were really too stressed about it. We felt like we had a lot of chances. I think our quality on the ball and in both boxes wasn’t there,” Megan Rapinoe said.
“We are a very honest group with each other and at the end I was honest with them to say that I truly believe that over the course of the season, do we deserve to get closer to that championship? But in tonight’s game, did we deserve to be in the championship? No.”
Rapinoe inspired the team to a playoff run with seven goals and four assists, but could not find the back of the net on Sunday. Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch made it difficult for the Reign to score, recording her third playoff shutout to tie the league record.
“AD was off her head today, Unbelievable saves,” recognized Rapinoe.
Though the Reign walk away from the 2022 campaign with the NWSL Shield, and much more to be proud of, Rapinoe lamented the “disappointing” loss.
“Football’s a little cruel sometimes,” she said. “I feel like I don’t even really know if we deserve more out of the game. I think we didn’t really take our chances and impose ourselves on the game. Obviously, just very disappointing. Tough moment for us, especially playing the way that we’ve been playing and having the season that we have had.”
The team now heads into the offseason, with months to prepare before the 2023 NWSL campaign.