Despite loss to Portland, Spirit is coming together through experience

The Spirit's defense comes alive near the goal in a game against the Portland Thorns. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEThe Washington Spirit's defense comes alive near the goal in a game against the Portland Thorns. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEAs of Saturday, the Washington Spirit has fallen to eighth place in the National Women’s Soccer League, when they dropped their latest match against the Portland Thorns 1-0.
It took the Thorns until the 68th minute to score their one goal. With one keeper and two defensive players backing her up, a pass from Tobin Heath to Ellie Carpenter was placed perfectly for Carpenter nick it into the net. As the ball started rolling back out of the net, Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe and two defenders could be seen lying face down on the ground right where they landed trying to stop the ball.
Throughout the match, the Spirit missed out on at least three excellent chances to score, including a penalty kick, but the strikes were just off target, either over the top of the frame or wide. The accuracy just was not there.
As the rain came down in a heavy drizzle that just would not relent, the last 15 minutes of the second half saw a flurry of activity from the Spirit, forcing the Thorns into a bunkering position to protect their one-goal lead. The Spirit turned on the aggression and kept the pressure on the Thorns on their side of the field. The excitement of the Spirit potentially scoring a leveling goal was felt throughout the crowd right until the referee blew the final whistle in penalty time.


The Washington Spirit dull the Thorns

1010b 20170624 Spirit vs ThornsThorns’ Amandine Henry (28) goes one-on-one with the Spirit's Cheyna Williams (20). Williams won possession but committed a foul, forcing a turnover of the ball over to the Thorns.    PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEOn a gorgeous Saturday evening at Maureen Hendricks Field in Boyds, the Washington Spirit (3-5-2) defeated the Portland Thorns (4-3-3) 1-0 in front of 4,319 spectators.
Let me reemphasize that statement. The Spirit won! That makes three matches in a row where they have not been defeated this season. This is the best knitting of undefeated games by the Spirit yet this season. As a result, the Spirit is moving up in the standings as their injured players return to form on the pitch and the team continues to gel as an organized unit.


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.


Spirit gets into a Thorny situation in Oregon

20160507 Spirit vs Thorns-6While their May 7 game ended 0-0 (as seen here where Thorns forward Tobin Heath gets double teamed by Spirit defenders Megan Oyster and Ali Kriger), the Washington Spirit had their first loss of the season against the Thorns on May 21. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

Unable to overcome a 3-0 first half deficit the Washington Spirit lost their first game of the season Saturday at Providence Park in Oregon by a 4-1 margin.

While the Boyds-based team remains on top of the National Women’s Soccer League standings at 4-1-1, the Spirit now have company for first place from the 4-1-1 Chicago Red Stars.

Both teams lead the 10-team league with 13 points.

With the win, Portland rises to third place at 3-0-3 with 12 points, the same amount as 4-2 Orlando Pride.


Spirit stays on top of division with latest draw

20160507 Spirit vs Thorns-2Spirit defender Megan Oyster looks for a better angle on the ball while Thorns forward Nadia Nadim takes to the air to stop a Spirit pass.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

BOYDS – National Women’s Soccer League leaders Washington Spirit battled Portland Thorns FC to a 0-0 draw in front a packed Soccerplex Saturday in a defensive struggle featuring five yellow cards.

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