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Washington Spirit falls on the road to Utah Royals FC

Boyds, Md. (May 5, 2018) – The Washington Spirit fell 2-0 on the road to Utah Royals FC on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Utah took an early lead on a seventh minute strike by U.S. international Kelley O’Hara, assisted by Amy Rodriguez. After receiving a feed on a run through the center of the Spirit box, O’Hara finished off the play with a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

The remainder of the first half was a defensive struggle, as only one more shot on target was recorded during the final 37 minutes. O’Hara managed a close range attempt from a tough angle in the left side of the Spirit box, but Aubrey Bledsoe was there to knock it away for her first save of the night.

After trailing 1-0 at halftime, Washington found some early momentum in the second half, when U.S. international forward Mallory Pugh found space in the middle of the field, linking up with midfielder Andi Sullivan in the final third. Sullivan played a ball in to forward Ashley Hatch at the top of the box, and her shot finished just wide to the left.

However, Royals FC midfielder Diana Matheson added to the lead in the 66th minute, pushing the margin to 2-0. Matheson won a loose ball outside the box with a sliding effort, and finishing with a chip shot into an empty net as Bledsoe charged out to cut off the play.

Washington continued to push, nearly finding the 70th minute, when Hatch created space in the box and fired another shot, but again sent it just wide of the left post.

Sullivan found a chance to convert for the Spirit in the 82nd minute when she tried a header from in front of the right post, but it sailed off target.

Ordega notched the Spirit’s lone shot on target in the 90th minute, firing a shot from the right side of the box, but Royals FC goalkeeper Abby Smith was there for the save.

Washington will finish off its two-game stretch away from home next Saturday against the league-leading North Carolina Courage.

The Spirit will return to the Maryland Soccer for their next home game on Saturday, May 19 against Portland Thorns FC. [TICKETS]

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs Utah Royals FC
Date: May 5, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium
Kickoff: 9:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 60s, clear

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 0 0
Utah 1 1 2

UTA – Kelley O’Hara (Amy Rodriguez) 7’

UTA – Diana Matheson 66’

Lineups:

Washington Spirit: 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 5-Whitney Church, 7-Taylor Smith, 3-Caprice Dydasco (17-Cali Farquharson, 81’), 24-Estelle Johnson (c); 23-Tori Huster (4-Rebecca Quinn, 37’), 8-Meggie Dougherty Howard (10-Estefania Banini, 63’), 6-Andi Sullivan; 33- Ashley Hatch, 14-Francisca Ordega, 11-Mallory Pugh

Substitutes Not Used: 12-Morgan Proffitt, 19-Kelsey Wys, 9-Havana Solaun, 15-Joanna Lohman

Utah Royals FC: 1-Abby Smith; 2-Rachel Corsie, 13-Brooke Elby, 3-Rebecca Moros, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn; 11-Desiree Scott, 5-Kelley O’Hara (6-Katie Bowen, 85’); 10-Diana Matheson (15-Erika Tymrak, 88’), 23-Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir, 19-Katrina-Lee Gorry; 8-Amy Rodriguez (24-Katie Stengel, 69’)

Substitutes Not Used:25-Brittany Ratcliffe, 17-Sidney Miramontez, 18-Nicole Barnhart, Lo’eau LaBonta

Stats Summary: UTA / WAS
Possession: 52.8% / 47.2%
Shots: 10 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 14
Offside: 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
UTA – Becky Sauerbrunn (Yellow Card) 15’
WAS – Taylor Smith (Yellow Card) 72’

Officials:
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo
Assistant Referee 2: Dan Stupca
Fourth Official: Ali Saheli