Spirit Earns Scoreless Road Draw Against Sky Blue
The Washington Spirit played a back-and-forth contest with Sky Blue FC Friday night, but after 90 minutes neither side could find the back of the net at Yurcak Field.
Each team earned a point as Washington moves to 9 points on the season (2-7-3) and Sky Blue FC (2 points) remains winless at 0-8-2.
The best chance for either side came in the 79th minute when Andi Sullivan took a penalty kick as a result of Estefania Banini being taken down from behind in the box. However, Sullivan’s shot was denied by Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, one of three shots she saved on the evening.
Aubrey Bledsoe returned to the lineup for the Spirit and came up big on the evening, saving all seven Sky Blue FC shots on target, including two late shots in the contest in the 88th and 89th minutes.
Both sides found opportunities on counter attacks. The Sky Blue FC attack was led by Shea Groom who recorded six of the team’s 20 shots on the evening including two shots on target.
Washington recorded two shots on goal in the first half. Defender Whitney Church put a clean header on frame in the 18th minute, but it was placed right at the Sheridan. On the defensive side, Church had a crucial block 10 minutes later on a shot inside the box from McKenzie Meehan.
Banini led the Spirit with three total shots, including one on target in the 32nd minute where she was unable to beat Sheridan on her attempt to caress her shot around the Sky Blue FC keeper.
The best second half opportunity for the Spirit from the open field came in the 60th minute on a through ball from Sullivan that caught Tori Huster in behind the defense. Huster’s shot from distance caught the defense off guard but rolled inches wide left of the post.
In stoppage time, Spirit captain Estelle Johnson recorded a sliding block on Groom who was in all behind the Spirit defense before she could attempt an open shot on goal to help preserve the tie.
Washington made only one substitution on the evening with Joanna Lohman entering for Tiffany Weimer in the 57th minute. Formation wise, Taylor Smith was versatile as she played the first half at right back, but shifted to a more offensive role in the second half.
The Washington Spirit returns to action at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, June 16 to take on Seattle Reign FC. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm.
Photos and video courtesy Washington Spirit.