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Washington Spirit open up the preseason with Penn State

WashSpirit vs. PennState 1Penn State’s Frannie Crouse (9) gets her attack interrupted by key Spirit defenders Shelina Zadorsky and Whitney Church. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

The Washington Spirit took on Penn State’s women’s soccer team in a preseason exhibition game on Saturday. On an artificial turf field surrounded by snow piles upwards of 3 feet, the Spirit played their first of four preseason matches with a three to nil win over Penn State.  

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Washington Spirit roster looks to the fountain of youth

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The newest players being considered for full-time positions on the Washington Spirit’s professional soccer team are young. They are not the names you would know from watching the USA Women’s National Soccer team.

Instead, they are stars coming off magnificent amateur careers in college and the national age bracket teams. After the end of the 2016 season for the National Women’s Soccer League, the Spirit made several trades of fan favorite players. The trades irked a section of their fan base that was very vocal on social media about their unhappiness with the trades.

Yes, players with recognized names like Krieger, Dunn, and Matheson would not be back playing for the Spirit in 2017.

What could be the motive for such a dramatic change?

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The American team suffers a defeat at the hands of England and France

US WNT vs. FranceU.S. Women's midfielder Allie Long (20) gets in front of France's Eugenie Le Sommer to break her attack in the 2017 She Believes Cup at RFK Stadium. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

After England’s national women’s team defeated the US Women’s National team last weekend, the first time ever that England has defeated the US team on their home field, one would not have thought that France would do the same on Tuesday, March 7.

The Women’s National Team from France, coached by Olivier Echouafni, doused the US Women’s team 3-0. By the 11th minute, France was up 2 to nil. The steady rain on the field seemed to wash away the indomitable strength of the US Women’s backline. France owned the pitch. 

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Memorable season for Washington Spirit ends in heartbreak on penalty kick

20160903 DRW Spirit vs WNYF-1Washington Spirit's Crystal Dunn (19), seen here in an earlier game against the Western New York Flash, scored both goals for the team, but the Flash would win in OT on a penalty kick. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

The Washington Spirit finished their season last week runner-up for the National Women’s Soccer League championship, falling to the Western New York Flash in Houston in overtime penalty kicks Oct. 9.

Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra said he thought the better team lost the game that ended in a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation and 3-2 in favor of the flash after PKs.

“The better side does not always win in these matches, especially in something as late as four minutes of added time,” he said. “To go to penalty kicks , it’s an awful way to decide a match.”

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Spirit prevail 2-1 in OT, head to NWSL championship

Washington Spirit Francisca OrdegaWashington Spirit forward Francisca Ordega scored the game-winning goal in overtime Friday.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

BOYDS – Home field advantage worked again for the Washington Spirit in their 2 to 1 overtime victory against the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals Friday.

The win paved the road to Houston for the Spirit, where they will play the Western New York Flash for the national championship Oct. 9 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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Spirit secure home playoff game with 2-1 win against Seattle

 DSC9848Spirit forward Cheyna Williams (left) and forward Crystal Dunn celebrate Dunn's goal with a little bit of dancing on the field as Caprice Dydesco and Estelle Johnson watch. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BOYDS – The Washington Spirit (12-3-3, 39 points) netted a home game playoff spot in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign (6-6-6, 24 points) Wednesday night.

Spirit forward Crystal Dunn notched her first score of the season off an assist from midfielder Christine Nairn during stoppage time play in the first half.

Last season, Dunn scored nearly every game and she won the Golden Boot with the most goals in the league. Washington Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra predicted early in the season Dunn would score when the team needed it.

Seattle Reign’s offense kept the Spirit defense active the whole match.

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Spirit secure playoff berth with 1-1 tie against WNYF

Spirit vs WNYF-4Even with two people marking Crystal Dunn, she gets off her shot on goal.    PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

 

BOYDS – The Washington Spirit (11-3-3 36 points.) secured a spot in the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs Saturday, tying the Western New York Flash (8-5-4  28 point) with one goal each.

If the Boyds-based team remains the league leader in points, the team will earn at least one home match at Maureen Hendricks Field. Should they make it to the finals, the game will be played in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium. 

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Spirit's Huster reflects on Rio Olympic results

20160618 Sprit vs Pride-16Tori Huster (left) fights for the ball as part of the Washington Spirit. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

In Rio de Janeiro, the United States Women’s National Soccer team made it through to the quarter finals at the Olympics by a slim margin.

Favored to run through the preliminary matches in Group C, with nothing but wins and potentially clean sheets for every game, Columbia nearly ended that for the U.S. in a 2-2 draw Tuesday.

Goalie Hope Solo made rare mistakes on two free kicks, giving Columbia early Christmas presents.

However, forwards Crystal Dun and Mallory Pugh each scored a goal for the USWNT (2-0-1 overall, 7 points), which won the group and eliminated Colombia from the tournament.

Locally, the Montgomery County Sentinel had the opportunity to spend 15 minutes chatting with midfielder Victoria (Tori) Huster.

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Spirit's homefield advantage continues with win

 

20160618 Spirit vs SkyBlue-9In an earlier game in June, three of the Spirit's core backline, Ali Krieger, Megan Oyster, and Shelina Zadorsky.  FILE PHOTO  

BOYDS – The Washington Spirit dominated Sky Blue FC 3-1 at home Sunday, earning three more points to stay tied with the Portland Thorns for first place in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Washington improved 6-1-1 at home this season at Maureen Hendricks Field and enter the Olympic break at 9-3-2 overall this season with 29 points.

Sky Blue FC of New Jersey dropped to fifth place at 6-5-4 and 22 points.

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Loss to Sky Blue keeps Spirit in first place tie

20160618 Sprit vs Pride-16The Washington Spirit battle in Boyds. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

More than half way through the regular season, the Washington Spirit continue to battle the spurious invisible Jersey specter that will not allow them to win a match against Sky Blue FC when played on the home turf of Sky Blue FC.   The Spirit lost an opportunity to pick up three points and be in sole possession of first place by losing to host Sky Blue FC 1-0 this past Saturday in New Jersey.

Instead, Sky Blue (6-4-4 overall, 22 points) picked up three points and moved into a tie with the Chicago Red Stars for fourth place, making them serious contenders for a playoff position.

Meanwhile, the on-again, off-again Spirit (8-3-2) share first place with the Portland Thorns (7-2-5) at 26 points, with the Western New York Flash (8-5-1) right behind with 25 points.

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