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Washington Spirit and Seattle Reign FC fight to a draw

The Spirit’s Audrey Bledsoe shows how she became the keeper with the most saves in the NWSL, wrapping herself around the ball, preventing the attack of Reign forward Jodie Taylor. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEThe Spirit’s Audrey Bledsoe shows how she became the keeper with the most saves in the NWSL, wrapping herself around the ball, preventing the attack of Reign forward Jodie Taylor. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BOYDS — Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex, the Washington Spirit held the second-place ranked team in the National Women’s Soccer League to a score of nil. On the flip side, the visiting Reign FC held the Spirit to nil as well. Both teams walked away with a point in the standings.
Saturday must have been a day of miracles. On the opposite side of the globe in the World Cup competition, Iceland held off Argentina and the man of legends Lionel Messi for a 1-1 draw. Closer to home, the Utah Royals stunned the North Carolina Courage, the league leader in points for the NWSL, with a 1-0 win over the Courage in North Carolina. What a day for unexpected outcomes.
Back to the game at the Maryland SoccerPlex, the Spirit’s star keeper Audrey Bledsoe now leads the league with saves. Bledsoe continues to improve with each match, moving up the ranks of keepers in the NWSL. Although she embodies trace amounts of the looks and attitude of her mentor last season, Orlando Pride keeper Ashlyn Harris, she developed her own style on the pitch that works well. The draw against Seattle added another shutout to her record for a total of four for this season.

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Seattle Reigns over Washington Spirit

Spirit vs. ReignThe opening NWSL regular season match for the Washington Spirit (0-1-0) and the Seattle Reign FC (1-0-0) went well for Seattle as they topped the Spirit 2-1 in Seattle this past Saturday in front of 3,561 fans.
While the Spirit dominated the possession of the ball for the entire match, they could not hold off the Reign from scoring twice in the first half. The first goal was on a free kick by Seattle Reign forward Megan Rapinoe. When Allie Long was fouled in the final third of the third of the field, Rapinoe took the kick. She bent the ball over a wall of Spirit players and into the high left corner of the net. The ball passed just out of reach of the Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe who launched herself with no hope of a gentle landing at the incoming ball. Reign 1, Spirit 0.
Rapinoe’s free kick showed why she is a leading striker, globally, in the world of women’s professional soccer. Throughout the first half, Rapinoe made space for herself often leaving her unmarked by the Spirit defense. The Reign took full advantage of that oversight and fed Rapinoe the ball often. In the 35th minute Rumi Utsugi laid a ball off to Rapinoe who fed it to English international forward Jody Taylor. Taylor’s light foot on the shot to goal had enough pace to not be sufficiently deflected by Bledsoe’s dive to stop it. The Reign scored again, marking two goals on the sheet and Spirit holding tight at 0.

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Seattle Reign supreme over Washington Spirit in final game of the season, 3-2

Seattle Reign vs. Washington Spirit 9 30 17Spirit midfielder Tori Huster slows Beverly Yanez’s movement towards the ball as Mallory Pugh closes in from behind for the steal. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BOYDS — Sitting at the bottom of the National Women’s Soccer League’s standings, the only improvement the Washington Spirit could have gained Saturday by winning their match against the Seattle Reign FC would have been ninth place. Unfortunately, even that small victory was not to be; The Spirit lost to The Reign at Maureen Hendricks Field, 3-2.

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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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Washington Spirit blank Reign to remain undefeated at home

  • Published in Sports

Soccer-01The Washington Spirit maintained their undefeated home pitch record Saturday night against the then league leader Seattle Reign FC that was coming off a streak of eight wins.  Washington Spirit players held the Reign to zero, a clean sheet for keeper Kelsey Wys.  Losing this game moved the Reign from first to second place in the league standings, one point behind the leader.  Winning added three points to the Spirit’s league total moving them into third place. They trail the Chicago Red Stars the current league leader by only two points.  A win this coming Saturday against the Chicago Red Stars could put the Spirit in first place. 

 

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What it's all about in the world of soccer this week

  • Published in Sports

Soccer-01What a weekend we have coming up in Soccer.  Saturday is a huge day for World Cup level soccer in the area. Saturday evening at 7PM will see the Washington Spirit taking on the Seattle Reign FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.  The last check I did for available seating there were 107 reserved seats available, field side seats were sold out, and general admission was still available.  Go early if you are planning on attending.

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