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Preseason match shines on a rookie

UNC’s Nicole Crutchfield rushes the ball while Washington Spirit’s Estefania Banini interferes with her progress. The two teams closed the match with a 1-1 draw. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEUNC’s Nicole Crutchfield rushes the ball while Washington Spirit’s Estefania Banini moves to block. The two teams ended the match with a 1-1 draw. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  LEESBURG, VA — As the match started between the Washington Spirit and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels women’s soccer team at the Evergreen Soccer Complex, players who were not starters were bundled up in official Washington Spirit winter-ready warmup jackets. The starters were rubbing their hands together, donning gloves, their breath creating a fog in the air, jumping about to stay warm and loose.
By the end of two 45-minute periods of play, both teams were sweat-soaked, steaming in the cold air, and looking at a final score of 1-1. After the obligatory post-match handshakes, the players made a straight line for the locker rooms, skipping the warm down that usually follows. It was cold.
Preseason games are where rookies get their chance to earn a spot on the team while seasoned veterans need to prove they can retain their spot on the team. The Spirit opened their preseason playing against the Tar Heels, a team known for delivering national championships and professional players. They did not disappoint when playing the Spirit on this past Saturday.

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Washington Spirit continues to improve with another win

x20170325 Spirit vs UNC soccer-Cheyna Williams-5Cheyna Williams had a standout game for the Spirit. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

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.” 

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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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QO grad John Papuchis becomes defensive coodinator at UNC

  • Published in Sports

 

 

PapuchisQuince Orchard alum John Papuchis has new coaching job. COURTESY PHOTO

Gaithersburg native John Papuchis has been promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina.

Papuchis, a Quince Orchard High School graduate, is replacing Gene Chizik who stepped down after two seasons in Chapel Hill to spend more time with his family.

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