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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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Spirit recapture first place with win over K.C. 3-2

 

WashSpirit-Estefania BaniniEstefania Banini pushes the ball upfield for the Spirit.   COURTESY PHOTO

As unpredictable as ever, the Washington Spirit won an away game while playing FC Kansas City on their home field Saturday, downing host FC Kansas City 3-2 in what should have been a runaway match for the Spirit.

However, the Washington Spirit (8-2-2) still exited the game tied with the Portland Thorns (7-2-5) for first place in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Instead, they nearly gave away the game and their 2-0 lead late more than two-thirds of the way through the match. 

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Locals do well on U.S. Women's National Team

20160618 Sprit vs Pride-1Spirit forward Crystal Dunn is among the players named for this year's Olympic Soccer Team. FILE PHOTO United States Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis named the 18 players for the Olympic Soccer Team Tuesday, including two local Washington Spirit players: defender Ali Krieger and forward Crystal Dunn.

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Slow start doesn’t stop Spirit's 2-0 win against Kansas City

20160702 Spirit vs FCKC-8Alyssa Kliener steps in to win the ball away from FC Kansas City player (and Laurel, Md. native) Tiffany McCarty. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

BOYDS – Restarting their unbeaten home streak, the Washington Spirit put away FC Kansas City 2-0 Saturday in home game that developed slowly with the national team members out training for the Olympics.

Neither team dominated the game. It took until two key substitutions by the Spirit (6-2-2 overall) to prevent a draw.

“I think there was a good energy. We were a lot more organized and we played well as a group. The second half with the insertion of Franny and Cheyna really added some speed and dynamic up front. I think we started moving the ball a little quicker,” said Washington General Manager and Head Coach Jim Gabarra, referring to forwards Francisca Ordega and Cheyna Williams.

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Spirit ready for friendly fire of Olympic Trials

20160618 Spirit vs SkyBlue-4Spirit midfielder Tori Huster and Sky Blue's Tasha Kai battle for ownership of the header. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

Two pre-Olympic friendly games will determine the 18 players plus alternates who make the United States Women’s National Team for the summer games in Rio de Janeiro.

USWNT head coach Jill Ellis called up 24 players who will be considered for the team to play South Africa July 9 in Chicago and Costa Rica July 22 in Kansas City.

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Spirit dominates Orlando 2-0 in emotional game

20160618 Sprit vs Pride-6Spirit forward Francisca Ordega makes a run along the near sideline.          PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

BOYDS – In front of more than 5,700 fans packed SoccerPlex Saturday, the Washington Spirit defeated the visiting Orlando Spirit 2-0 in one of the most emotionally compelling games played at Maureen Hendrick Field.

The game came six days after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

There was a break in the action at the 49th minute as Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra raised his hand and play stopped.

Fans rose up and clapped in memory of those who lost their lives in Orlando and in recognition of support for those who survived.

For that one moment the whole stadium of people were united.

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Spirit much more successful at home than away

Washington Spirit Logo

The Washington Spirit is unbeaten in Boyds this season but they have not carried that same success while on the road.

On the road, their play is inconsistent and wins are fleeting and draws are common, though losses have been limited to a single match.

The Friday match against the Boston Breakers ended in a 1-1 draw, earning both teams a single point in the National Women’s Soccer League standings.

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