The Washington Spirit, Germantown’s hometown professional women’s soccer team, will return to play at the Maryland SoccerPlex in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday, June 18 for their match against the expansion Orlando Pride.
The announced on Monday that all tickets for the match against the Pride and former Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and USWNT hero Alex Morgan. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to ensure entry by the 7:00 pm. kickoff, with General Admission category ticket holders, encouraged to arrive as early as 5:30 pm to secure the best views of the game. To assist with getting all fans through security, gates will open at 5:30 pm, 30 minutes earlier than normal. Additional food vending options will also be provided to accommodate the crowds.
The Spirit is also planning special activities related to remembrance and support of the victims of this past weekend’s tragedy in Orlando.
The Spirit are 4-2-1 with 14 points after seven games played. There is a bit of a logjam at the top of the National Women’s Soccer League standings board as the Chicago Red Stars, and the Western New York Flash are tied at 15 points, with eight games played. They are followed by the Portland Thorns and the Spirit with 14 points each.
The Spirit are one game back in terms of games played after their May 27 game versus the Houston Dash was rained out. That game has been rescheduled to be played in Houston on August 18.
The Spirit return to friendly confines of the Maryland SoccerPlex, where they are unbeaten after a month away. The team was to play three road games but only played two due to the rainout. The rainout gave the Spirit an extended rest as the NWSL did not schedule games for the first weekend of June to accommodate players’ national team play in the U.S. and Canada, as the Rio Summer Olympics draw near.
Last Friday, the Spirit played the Boston Breakers to a 1-1 draw. Boston is 1-6-1 with just 4 points in the NWSL. In front of 4,007 fans in Boston, the Spirit scored the first goal of the match in the 13th minute when forward Crystal Dunn dribbled down the right and sent a cross into the box. Her cross was blocked, but the rebound was picked up by midfielder Joanna Lohman, who launched a shot on goal. Lohman’s try at goal was also blocked, but the rebound was collected by forward Katie Stengel, who put the ball into the back of the next for her second goal of the season.
Two minutes later Spirit rookie forward Cali Farquharson stumbled, taking down the Breakers’ Brooke Elby in the penalty box, earning a penalty kick. Louise Schillgard converted the penalty kick bringing the Breakers level with the Spirit at 1-1.
The Spirit announced they would be without the services of forward Laura del Rio for the remainder of the 2016 NWSL season after undergoing surgery to fix a cartilage defect in her left ankle on May 24. Del Rio is expected to miss four- or five months and has been placed on the season-ending injury list. She will remain unavailable for the remainder of the season. In 2015, the Spanish international played in eleven matches, eight starts, for the Spirit before being sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury. Del Rio contributed two assists to the Spirit offense.
Top: Spirit rookie forward Cheyna Williams (20) moves the ball during the May 14 match against the Houston Dash at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Next: Spirit midfielder Estafania Banini (10) takes a shot during the May 14 game.
Next: The NWSL Standings.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.