The Washington Spirit Reserves scored early in each half to earn a 2-0 road victory over the Fredericksburg Impact on a cool Memorial Day evening. Ashley Herndon and Katie Yensen each tallied a goal and keeper DiDi Haracic provided some late heroics in the net to earn Washington its second win in a row.
As they have done in each of their three games this season, the Spirit Reserves jumped on the scoreboard early in the match. Washington midfielder Kara Wilson found a seam down the Fredericksburg right side and drove a low cross through the Impact box to the feet of forward Herndon. Herndon deftly one-timed the shot, planting the ball untouched past Fredericksburg keeper Jesse McGinley for the 1-0 advantage in the 12th minute.
The goal is Herndon’s third of the young season as she had found the net in each of Washington’s games so far.
Although seemingly in control for much of the half, the Spirit Reserves could not solve the Fredericksburg defense. Washington registered 13 shots in the half, but could not find the net largely due to some athletic saves courtesy of the agile McGinley.
The Impact nearly tied the match just before the break when the always dangerous Kara Blosser found a lane through the Spirit defense. However her shot fell wide left to preserve the Washington lead at the half.
The Spirit Reserves did not half to wait nearly as long to double their lead in the second half. Washington defender Jenn Skogerboe sent a curling pass to the stretching midfielder Yensen just two minutes into the second half. Yensen settled with her right foot before cranking a 20-yard blast with left into the upper left corner for the 2-0 lead in the 47th minute.
As they did in the first half, the home-side Impact showed their resilience and launched a vigorous attack in the latter part of the match. The Fredericksburg tenacity seemingly paid off when an Impact forward was hauled down on the way to the Washington net, leading to a penalty kick. Blosser fired her shot towards the left corner only to see it tipped away by the outstretched Haracic to earn the shutout victory.
The Spirit Reserves return home next weekend to host the North Jersey Valkyries on Saturday June 1st at 4:00PM. That match will be held as a special event at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia.