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Washington Spirit Opens Season with 1-0 Win Over Boston Breakers

Photo Credit: Brad Smith/ISI Photos

BOYDS, Md (Apr. 16, 2016) – The Washington Spirit defeated the Boston Breakers 1-0 in front of 3,578 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex. With the roars of the Spirit Squadron and not a cloud in the sky, the first match of the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season was a success, earning the Spirit a full three points. Midfielder Joanna Lohman beautifully executed a bicycle kick to give the Spirit a 1-0 win over the Boston Breakers.

In the 3rd minute, Spirit forward Katie Stengel dribbled into the box where she took on two defenders. Stengel sent the ball to the feet of forward Crystal Dunn as she made a near post run toward the end line. Dunn then sent a perfect cross to Lohman who found the ball bouncing upward and drove it past Breakers goalkeeper Libby Stout with a bicycle kick to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead.

The Breakers nearly equalized when Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé saved a ball off the goal line. Extending her arms in front of her, she was able to keep the powerful strike out of the net.

In the 86th minute, the referee awarded her first yellow card of the game to Spirit center back Megan Oyster. Oyster was called on a slide tackle while clearing the ball from Breakers forward Kyah Simon. Simon had several strong attempts on net throughout the game, including a strike that went soaring just over the crossbar.

Cali Farquharson replaced Stengel in the 65th minute. In just over twenty minutes of play, she proved a prominent force on the field. In the 85th minute she had a shot on net that went just wide. Her speed provided her with several opportunities to assist in counterattacks against the Breakers.

“It was a good test for us in concentration to make sure that we defended and kept the ball in their half for the last fifteen to twenty minutes,” said general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra after the match. Gabarra, who has coached in all three women’s professional leagues in the US also noted tonight’s match “was very similar to the WUSA opener where it was a very good atmosphere and a perfect day.”

The Spirit will challenge Sky Blue FC on the road at Yurcak Field on Sunday, April 24th at 6 p.m. This match will be one of four matchups against Sky Blue this season. Our next home game is on May 7th at 7 p.m. against Portland Thorns FC. Be part of the NWSL soccer experience by calling 301-337-8579 or visiting our website.

Washington Spirit Lineup: Stephanie Labbé, Ali Krieger, Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Joanna Lohman, Tori Huster, Christine Nairn, Katie Stengel (65′ Cali Farquharson), Crystal Dunn, Estefania Banini (75′ Diana Matheson), Shelina Zadorsky

Subs not used: Kelsey Wys, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson, Cheyna Williams, ALyssa Kleiner

Boston Breakers Lineup:  Libby Stout, Whitney Engen, Kassey Kallman, Mollie Pathman (23′ Brooke Elby), Julie King (80′ Christen Westphal), Kristie Mewis, Angela Salem, McCall Zerboni, Louise Schillgard (73′ Brittany Ratcliffe), Stephanie McCaffrey, Kyah Simon

Subs not used: Abby Smith, Morgan Marlborough, Stephanie Verdoia, Rachel Wood

Team 1 2 Final
Washington Spirit  1  0  1
Boston Breakers  0  0  0
SCORING SUMMARY
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 3 Washington Joanna Lohman Crystal Dunn
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
Time Team ## Player Card Reason
86 Washington 4 Megan Oyster Yellow Tactical Foul