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Lohman’s Header Keeps Spirit On Top in NWSL

Silver Spring’s own Joanna Lohman kept the Washington Spirit, Germantown’s hometown professional soccer team, undefeated and in first place in the National Women’s Soccer League. Lohman’s header allowed the Spirit to beat the Houston Dash 1-0 Saturday night in front of 3,545 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.

The Spirit are now 4-01, with 13 points, and the win increases the Spirit’s lead at the top of the league by three points over second place team the Chicago Red Stars.

After a competitive first half, Lohman’s goal came for the Spirit in the 38th minute when defender Ali Krieger dribbled the ball up the right flank launched a long ball up to midfielder Christine Nairn. Nairn sent a cross into the penalty box, and Lohman leapt up to head the ball into the back of the net.

The Spirit had several opportunities to extend its lead early in the second half. The first came in the 58th minute when Dunn served a cross to Nairn. However, Nairn’s shot was blocked. After the Spirit collected the ball again, Krieger sent a cross into Argentinian forward Estefania Banini, who took a shot on goal, but the ball was once again blocked by the Dash’s defense.

Banini and Crystal Dunn were two of the most dangerous Spirit players in the final third. In the 79th minute, the Spirit earned a corner when Banini sent a ball to Dunn, who was making a near post run that later went out of bounds. In the 87th minute, Banini took a shot from outside of the box that was tipped over the bar by Williams, earning the Spirit another corner.

The Spirit earned two yellow cards during the game. In the 65th minute Spirit left back, Alyssa Kleiner received a yellow card for a slide tackle against Dash forward Chiomoa Ubogagu. Ubogagu drove in a free kick, but it landed right in the arms of Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé. In the 89th minute, Ali Krieger was given a yellow card for time wasting on a throw in.

The Spirit will play its next three games on the road with rematches against the Portland Thorns, Houston Dash, and Boston Breakers. The next home game for the Spirit will be against the Orlando Pride on June 18 at 7:00 pm at Maureen Hendricks Field in the Maryland SoccerPlex.

The Spirit have only lost at home five times since April 2014. They have not lost at all this season and only lost one home game all last season. The last loss was a playoff game versus the Seattle Reign.

Top: Spirit’s Joanna Lohman (15) heads the ball into the goal past the outstretched arm of diving Houston Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams (18). Photo courtesy Washington Spirit Fan Facebook Page.

Next: Spirit’s superstar Crystal Dunn (18) traps the ball with her chest in front of Dash defender Cari Roccaro (5). Photo by Germantown Pulse.

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