A last-minute PK by Diana Matheson brought the Washington Spirit (3-4-1) to a 3-3 tie with Sky Blue FC (1-3-4) Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 2,454 at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The game was the first of three games the two teams are set to play against each other this season.
The Spirit came out with a similar lineup to their latest win against the WNY Flash, the only change being midfielder Diana Matheson slotting in for Bianca Sierra, moving Crystal Dunn to right back.
The game started with the Spirit having the better of the possession and a few chances on goal, though nothing too dangerous for Sky Blue goalkeeper Jill Loyden.
Both teams had chances throughout the half, one of the best being a Monica Ocampo breakaway that Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris handled with a physical battle.
The Spirit would eventually take the first lead of the game in the 38th minute after Crystal Dunn played a cheeky ball through to Robyn Gayle on the top of the 18-yard box. Gayle cut the ball with the outside of her foot to beat one defender and then slotted it home for the 1-0 lead.
The Spirit would take that lead into half time.
Sky Blue FC came out looking like a different team in the second half.
In the 47th minute, right out of the gates, Sky Blue FC leveled the score when Kelly O’Hara played a perfect through ball to Jonelle Filigno, who took a touch past Harris and found the back of the net.
A foul on Dunn in the 50th minute set up a Katy Freels free kick that was bent in to the 6-yard box, finding the back of the net untouched to put Sky Blue up 2-1.
In the 65th minute, Sky Blue extended their lead off of an O’Hara goal. Ocampo took the ball at the Spirit defense on the counter, finding Christie Rampone out wide, who then played a dangerous ball in the box. An onrushing O’Hara chested it down and snuck the ball past Harris for the 3-1 lead.
The game wasn’t quite over yet. Lori Lindsey picked off a Sky Blue pass near the top of the 18 and hit a low driven shot that deflected off a defender, Loyden’s hands, the post and into the goal.
It would remain 3-2 until the 90th minute when the Spirit were awarded a penalty kick after a Sky Blue hand ball in the box, which was calmly converted by Matheson for the final score of the game, 3-3.
With the tie, the Spirit move to 3-4-1 and Sky Blue FC to 1-3-4 on the season.
The Spirit’s next game is Monday, May 26 against the Houston Dash at the Maryland SoccerPlex at 4pm ET.
WASH – Harris, Gayle, Huster, Krieger, Dunn; Perez (Angeli 75), Nairn (Cuellar 65), Averbuch, Lindsey, Matheson, Taylor
Substitutes Not Used: Jones, Sierra, Adams
SBFC – Loyden; Johnson, Goodson, Rampone, Levin; Nick, Freels, Schmidt; O’Hara, Ocampo (Cutshall 89), Hayes (Filigno 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Cameron, Thompson, Morris, Stanton[Photo Credits: Ashley J Palmer]