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Washington Spirit Reserves battle New York Magic to a 0-0 tie

The Washington Spirit Reserves and the New York Magic tied 0-0 at the Maryland SoccerPlex on June 21st, 2014. Both teams had a multitude of chances to break the 0-0 deadlock but failed to convert. This is only the second time this season that the Spirit Reserves did not come out with a victory, settling for one point in the standings rather than three. The Spirit Reserves remain in first place in the W-League Northeastern Conference with a 6-0-2 record while the Magic are in third at 2-3-2.

The Spirit Reserves dominated possession for most of the first half. Despite putting plenty of pressure on the Magic defense, they only managed to put two shots on goal before the half, with several missed opportunities in front of the net. The Magic also managed two shots on goal, but none of them were dangerous as goalkeeper Adelaide Gay was able to corral the weak shots easily.

The Spirit Reserves earned a penalty kick in the 35th minute when Magic captain Ayaki Shinada took down Spirit Reserves forward Katie Yensen in the box. Magic goalkeeper, Samantha Depken made the penalty save on the shot by Yensen, however the ball ricocheted out to the foot of Spirit Reserves forward Ashley Herdon whose rebound attempt sailed high.

In the 40th minute, the Magic had their best chance of the game when forward Sara Sanu-Ruiz launched a shot that Gay snatched in the air. Neither team threatened the net for the rest of the half.
After making two substitutions to start the second half, with defender Emily Sonnet coming in for midfielder Maddie Huster and forward Amber Stobbs in for Yensen, the Spirit Reserves were hungry for a goal. Midfielder Kelsey Pardue, fresh from her stint with the professional team, made several dangerous runs early in the half, but her efforts were stymied by the Magic defense.

In the 53rd minute, the Magic failed to capitalize on an opportunity of their own when midfielder Serina Kashimoto fired a free kick into the crossbar that bounced dangerously back into play before the Spirit Reserve defense was able to clear it.

Spirit Reserves defender Jennifer Skogerboe was able to penetrate the Magic defense several times, but her shot in the 59th minute was just wide left. Defender Satara Murray had two late shots on goal that were also saved by Depken. The Spirit Reserves continued to press well into stoppage time, but were unable to score.

The next game for the Spirit Reserves will be on Wednesday June 25th against the Braddock Road Stars at 7pm at Robinson High School in Fairfax, Virginia.