Ten days after one of the more stinging defeats of her coaching career, a calmer, less emotional Laura Harvey addressed the media and discussed the one elusive achievement missing from OL Reign’s decade existence: The National Women’s Soccer League Championship.
In the aftermath of the club’s 2-1 defeat go NJ/NY Gotham FC on Nov. 11, that dropped them to 0-3 in the league’s deciding match, the winningest coach in league history was asked if she was confident the team was good enough, or if there were still elements that needed to be added to get over the hump.
“I don’t know, if I’m honest,” Harvey replied while appearing to search her thoughts. “I just feel like we’ve got to continue to keep grinding. What’s overshadowed a bit about our team which is frustrating at times, is I’ve been back for two-and-a-half seasons now. We’ve finished second, got to a semifinal, finished first, got to a semifinal, finished fourth and got to a final. We’re very consistent. And we’re very consistent at a really high level. That’s really challenging to do.”
Harvey has long held the belief that her side played well enough to win the 2014 final against FC Kansas City. She has been less effusive about the team’s performance a year later, another loss to FC Kansas City. The 2023 NWSL Championship got off to a crazy start when Megan Rapinoe tore her right Achilles tendon in the 3rd minute. It was Rapinoe’s final match and her injury made for quite the anticlimactic finish. It also sucked a good bit of the air out of Snapdragon Stadium.
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