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As the Washington Spirit Reserves opened their training camp Wednesday morning, they found themselves short one expected arrival at check-in. Recent Loyola graduate and long-time W-League goalkeeper DiDi Haracic had received her call up to NWSL professional soccer and was on her way to report to the Western New York Flash.
Already reeling from the preseason ACL injury to starter Adrianna Franch, the Flash found their goalkeeper depth chart further depleted with the international call-up of Australian Lydia Williams for World Cup preparation. Western New York launched an aggressive search to quickly find a replacement, and Haracic received the news Tuesday afternoon to depart as soon as possible for Rochester.
Hailing from Round Hill, Virginia, Haracic spent her third consecutive year on a Washington W-League team as a member of the Spirit Reserves. The mainstay keeper played in all 12 regular season games and finished fifth in the league with a 0.580 goals against average (GAA).
Haracic went 5-0 in net during her 2012 stint for D.C. United Women, making 20 saves and posting a GAA of .868. In 2011, the goalkeeper posted two W-League shutouts, in addition to an outstanding college season where she starting all 21 games and made 96 saves.
In 2012 at Loyola, Haracic was named MAAC Player of the Year, starting all 22 games and leading the conference with six shutouts. Her 106 saves were good for second in the MAAC. She helped lead the Greyhounds to a MAAC Championship and a Women’s College Cup appearance, which ended with a loss to Duke.
“Our loss aside, I couldn’t be happier for DiDi right now,” commented Reserves General Manager Tim Schweitzer. “I have had the privilege to watch her work for years to get this well-deserved opportunity.”
“Sending players like DiDi into the professional ranks is exactly what the Spirit Reserves and the W-League as a whole are all about,” concluded Schweitzer.
The Washington Spirit Reserves face a challenging schedule of opponents in the Northeast Conference for the season, which include historic playoff contenders Long Island Rough Riders and W-League veterans New York Magic.
The Spirit Reserves kick off their season Saturday, May 17th against the Braddock Road Stars Elite at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Match time is currently slated for 3:00PM and is the first match of a special doubleheader with the Washington Spirit professional side. The Spirit take on DiDi, Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash at 6:30PM.