Spirit To Face Seattle Without Star Keeper
By Kevin O’Rourke
The Washington Spirit, who play their home games in Germantown, are heading to Seattle to take on Hope Solo and the Seattle Reign on Saturday, but they will have to do it without their top goal keeper.
The Spirit’s starting goalie Ashlyn Harris is inactive for the match against the top team in the league due to experiencing concussion like symptoms earlier in the week, the Spirit reported on Twitter.
Harris went down hard on a play in last week’s last minute win against the Chicago Red Stars in which she collided with the Red Star’s Jackie Santacatarina while attempting to stop corner kick attempt. She remained on the ground and was attended to for a few minutes, but stayed in the game. There was no official word from the Spirit if that was the play which led to the concussion like symptoms.
Harris, who has played 12 of the Spirit’s 15 games this year, has a 7-4-1 record, giving up an average 1.66 goals per game and has been outstanding coming up with numerous big stops in the Spirit’s playoff push in wins over Chicago and Kansas City.
With Harris out, the Spirit will turn to back up Chantel Jones, who has started 3 games and posts a 0-3 record this season, with a 3.33 goals per game average.
The Spirit have also called up goalkeeper Adelaide Gay from the Spirit Reserve team to make the trip with the team to Seattle. Gay backstopped the Spirit Reserve team to the league championship game this summer, leading the W-League with 21 shutouts, while posting a 0.268 goals per game average. The Spirit Reserves came up short, ending the season with a 12-1-2 record.
The Spirit are currently in third place with 34 points with a record of 10-8-4. The Spirit will travel to Seattle to take on the league leading Seattle Reign on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 pm ET. The regular season will end back home at the SoccerPlex in Germantown against Sky Blue FC on August 16.
With a win on Wednesday, FC Kansas City locked up home field advantage in the semifinals. This leaves only the third and fourth place spots up for grabs. The Spirit and Portland Thorns FC are both in a position to at least clinch one of those spots this weekend, but will need some help from around the league to do so.
The Washington Spirit will clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win on Saturday versus the Reign, or a draw and a loss or draw by the Red Stars versus Kansas City. The Spirit can also clinch if the Red Stars lose and Sky Blue FC loses or draw against the Houston Dash.
Caption: Spirit goal keeper Ashlyn Harris makes a stop.
Photo Credit: Germantown Pulse