The Washington Spirit Reserves notched their third consecutive victory in dramatic fashion, knocking off the visiting North Jersey Valkyries 7-0 Saturday evening at special venue site Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. Washington scored early and often in a bursting offensive display while goalkeeper DiDi Haracic and the stout Spirit defense recorded their third shutout in a row.
The victory, coupled with the New York Magic’s 2-1 loss to Long Island, put the Spirit Reserves alone atop the Northeastern Conference standings.
Keeping her goal-scoring stride from the previous week, Washington midfielder Katie Yensen blasted home a feed from teammate Jenn Skogerboe in the 12th minute to get the Spirit Reserves on the scoreboard. Portuguese National Team member Monica Mendes punished the visiting Valkyries in the 21st minute, driving home a cross from fellow international Amber Stobbs (Chelsea).
The Yensen/Skogerboe connection proved effective again just before halftime, as the two linked up to grab a third Washington goal in the 40th minute.
Washington forward Stobbs made her presence known throughout the second half, recording a goal and three assists to factor in on each Spirit Reserves goal. In the 55th minute, Stobbs split the North Jersey defense on a crisp through ball allowing forward Tiffany Brown to fire untouched into the Valkyrie net.
Stobbs notched her first goal of the season ten minutes later, rocketing a shot past North Jersey keeper Kate Courter for the 5-0 advantage.
Spirit Reserves substitute Jessica Van Dyke scored the final two goals for the home side in the span of less than a minute, both assisted by some nifty passing from Stobbs. Van Dyke deftly chipped a bouncing Stobbs ball over Courter before finishing another cross from the London native forty seconds later.
“It was tremendous to hear so much positivity today,” beamed head coach Mark Parsons. “There will be times when things don’t go so well, that is when we will need to be even more positive and supportive.”
“It has been a very exciting start to the season, and we will only get better, stronger, and more exciting as we continue to work extremely hard together,” concluded Parsons.
The Spirit Reserves return home in two weeks to host the New Jersey Wildcats on Saturday June 15th. Match time is set for 4:00 PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex and is the first in a special doubleheader. The Washington Spirit professional side face the Western New York Flash at 7:00PM.