The Washington Spirit head back on the road for the first of three consecutive away games, as they take on the Seattle Reign FC in a Sunday night match.
Sunday will be the last of three games between the Spirit and Reign during the 2018 NWSL regular season. The Reign took the first game 2-1 over the Spirit, as the sides opened their seasons in Seattle. Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman netted Washington’s only goal of the match in the 68th minute, playing in her first game back from injury after missing the 2017 season with a torn ACL sustained on opening day.
In June, the Spirit and Reign played to a scoreless draw in their second matchup of the 2018 season, this time at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe made six saves on the evening, including a Megan Rapinoe penalty kick in the 52nd minute.
Washington is coming off a bye week after a narrow 1-0 loss against the Houston Dash at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Houston tallied early with a goal by Rachel Daly in the third minute of the game, but the Spirit were unable to get the ball past Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell despite controlling possession and more than doubling the Dash in shots on goal.
After shutting out Houston the last 87 minutes of the game, Spirit defenders Estelle Johnson, Whitney Church, Caprice Dydasco and Taylor Smith will look for another strong performance when taking on Rapinoe (7 goals, 4 assists), Seattle’s leading scorer. Rapinoe has scored five of her seven goals at home, while Jodie Taylor (6 goals, 1 assist) and Allie Long (3 goals) have combined for six goals at home.
Washington’s leading scorer Ashley Hatch (4 goals, 1 assist) will lead the Spirit’s offensive threat after taking a season-high seven shots against Houston. Hatch has scored two of her four goals on the road this season. The Spirit’s offensive front will have additional help Sunday with Mallory Pugh (2 goals, 1 assist) returning to the bench after missing eight games with a right knee injury, and Rose Lavelle returning from her duties with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The Spirit travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on the Utah Royals FC on Wednesday, August 8 at 10:00 pm. The team returns home on Wednesday, August 22 to host the Royals, with kickoff at 7:30 pm.
Photos by Germantown Pulse, Videos courtesy Washington Spirit.