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Spirit Reserves drop New York Magic to claim division lead

Following a narrow 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Wildcats the previous evening, the Washington Spirit Reserves completed their road trip with 7-0 result over host New York Magic Sunday afternoon in New Rochelle, New York. Leading the offensive explosion, Washington forward Lina Granados scored 3 goals to earn the first hat trick in Spirit Reserves history.

The win puts Washington into first place in the Northeastern Conference with an unblemished 3-0-0 record early in the season.

The Spirit Reserves wasted little time making their mark on Sunday, scoring in the 4th minute of play on a nifty play at the top of the New York box. Defender Jen Skogerboe slotted a crisp rolling pass across the eighteen after getting loose down the left. Granados broke towards the ball, but deftly stepped over the cross untouched at the last possible moment allowing teammate Kelsey Pardue to knock it home free of any defenders for the 1-0 lead.

Washington doubled their lead moments later when defender Niomi Serrano sent a deep 40 yard switching cross to Granados who raced in on goal and calmly placed her shot past Magic keeper Sam Depkin in the 6th minute. The assist was the third of the season for Serrano and places here atop the USL W-League statistics in that category.

Granados followed up here performance in the 22nd minute courtesy of a splitting through pass from midfielder Gilda Doria. The pass again left Granados in alone on goal and the end result was the same as lanky forward grabbed her second goal of the evening with precision placement into the corner of the net.

The Spirit Reserves next goal came from the combination of two Washington W-League veterans of D.C. United Women fame. Skogerboe again found herself free down the corner, although this time deep down the right side. The reliable defender drove a low cross in front of the Magic goal for forward Ashley Herndon to blast home off a crashing header for the 4-0 lead.

Granados completed her performance just before half with a blistering shot low into the side netting off of a pass from Katie Yensen to send the visitors into the break with a 5-0 advantage.

The second half saw New York return to the pitch more energized and the Magic attack tested the Washington defense early. New York forward Sara Sanau Ruiz seized a golden opportunity in the 49th minute and rocketed a shot destined for the left side of the Spirit Reserves goal. Washington keeper Adelaide Gay showed her athletic prowess, acrobatically springing across the face of the goal to tip Ruiz’s shot just wide to preserve the shut out.

Washington defender Sam Lofton added to the lead in the 55th minute on a pass from Pardue and Yensen completed the night on an unassisted goal following an intercepted pass deep in Magic territory.

The Spirit Reserves return home next weekend for a rematch against the New Jersey Wildcats on Saturday, June 7th. Match time is set for 7:00PM and will be held at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia.