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Washington Spirit comes up just short in 2-1 thriller vs Chicago Red Stars

Boyds, MD (August 26, 2017) – Washington’s Cheyna Williams and Chicago’s Christen Press traded goals in the closing minutes of a 2-1 thriller at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday night, as the visiting Red Stars came away with a narrow win to snap the Spirit’s four-game home unbeaten streak.

After trailing 1-0 at the half, the Spirit battled back to equalize in the 81st minute on Williams’ fourth goal of the season, a point blank header set up by U.S. international Mallory Pugh on a free kick from the edge of the attacking third. Pugh, 19, notched the first assist of her pro career on the play. [WATCH]

Press netted the game-winner for the Red Stars in the 87th minute, slotting the ball into the center of the net from a tough angle along the left side of the box. Julie Ertz, Press’ U.S. international teammate, provided the assist on a long pass up the left side.

Midfielder Kristie Mewis opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, finding the net her first game as a member of the Red Stars on a feed from Danielle Colaprico. Mewis’ shot struck the bottom right corner of the net on a left-footed shot taken from the left side of the box.

Washington controlled the possession battle, holding the ball for 54.2 percent of the match. Spirit midfielder Tori Huster led all players for both teams with 52 total passes. Meggie Dougherty Howard was close behind with 47 total passes, 37 of which came on the attacking side of the field.

The Red Stars outshot the Spirit 9-8 overall, with 4 shots on goal to Washington’s one.

Defensively, Washington’s Estelle Johnson pushed her season interception total to 64, as she and Huster tied for the team lead with four each. Johnson entered the night ranked second in the NWSL with 60.

Next Up: The Washington Spirit will return to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday, August 30 for a match-up with the league-leading North Carolina Courage. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]

NWSL MATCH REPORT

MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit
DATE: August 26, 2017
VENUE: Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Maryland
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. ET
ATTENDANCE: 3,469
WEATHER: Low 70s, clear

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
CHI                                1          1          2
WAS                              0          1          1

CHI – Kristie Mewis (Danielle Colaprico)                                23’
WAS – Cheyna Williams (Mallory Pugh)                                 81’
CHI – Christen Press (Julie Ertz)                                            87’

Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 6-Casey Short, 16-Samantha Johnson, 5-Katie Naughton, 3-Arin Gilliland; 8-Julie Ertz, 24-Danielle Colaprico, 11-Sofia Huerta, 15-Kristie Mewis (7-Taylor Comeau, 81); 12-Yuki Nagasato (4-Alyssa Mautz, 64), 23-Christen Press (capt.)
Substitutes Not Used: 2-Jen Hoy, 9-Stephanie McCaffrey, 10-Vanessa DiBernardo,14-Sarah Gorden, 18-Michele Dalton
Head Coach: Rory Dames

Washington Spirit Lineup: 21-Didi Haracic; 22-Alyssa Kleiner (14-Francisca Ordega, 90), 24-Estelle Johnson (capt.), 5-Whitney Church, 3-Caprice Dydasco; 11-Mallory Pugh, 29-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 23-Tori Huster, 9-Havana Solaun (10-Estafania Banini, 60); 20-Cheyna Williams, 2-Arielle Ship (17-Cali Farquharson, 70)
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Stephanie Labbe, 8-Lindsay Agnew, 12-Morgan Proffitt, 18-Kelsey Wys
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra

Stats Summary: CHI / WAS
Shots: 9/8
Shots on Goal: 4/1
Saves: 0/2
Corner Kicks: 4/5
Fouls: 9/18
Offside: 5/2

Misconduct Summary:
CHI – Danielle Colaprico (caution)                                          70’
WAS – Estelle Johnson (caution)                                            90+5’

Officials:
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Asst. Referee: Jeremy Weed, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Andrew O’Connor