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Labbé Zadorsky 1bThe Washington Spirit’s Shelina Zadorsky holds back the progress of an opposing player while teammate Stephanie Labbé goes for a grip on the ball, a familiar strategy that Labbé calls “for sure normal.” PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Canadians Stephanie Labbé and Shelina Zadorsky for an exclusive interview about their second year with the Washington Spirit as professional soccer players in the National Women’s Soccer League.
This year, Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra has implemented multiple systems of play. At least one of them features a three-back defensive line versus a more traditional four-back defensive line. I asked Labbé and Zadorsky their thoughts on this system.
Labbé said, “I think the four-back is more natural. I think growing up that’s what we play all through the youth systems. I think that the three-back, it’s a new system. If you tactically have the right coaching and can really structurally break it down and be efficient in it, I think the three-back is a great tool to have. You have to have the right players that can fit the positions of that. Defensively the four-back is much more natural to so many people. Your instincts just go with it a lot better so it is easier to play.”

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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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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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