LEESBURG, VA. -- The Washington Spirit, playing their first-ever preseason game in Northern Virginia, outplayed the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team 5 to nil at the Evergreen Sportsplex.
Late spectators who managed to get tickets to the sellout event found themselves parking in a field instead of one of the already-filled paved lots. The official capacity of the location is 2,000 people. It was standing room only by the start of the match.
Missed connections and poor ball movement dominated the first 30 minutes of the match. The Spirit’s passes were off target, and the movement of the ball was not well coordinated. The team was playing a system using three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards. It was the same system used at the end of last season. It needs improvement to fit with the team. Head coach Jim Gabarra said, “That was a system we went to at the end. It’s been pretty good. We need to work on it.”