Boyds, Md. (Mar. 28, 2015) – The Washington Spirit fell to the University of Virginia 1-0 in a chilly preseason friendly on Saturday night. The Wahoos lone goal was scored in the 35th minute by Alexis Shaffer.
Both sides got off to a slow start battling the elements including significant gusts of wind and frigid temperatures. The Spirit nearly scored in the 16th minute after a ball in from the top of the box from Laura del Rio resulted in a bit of chaos in front of goal before UVA was finally able to clear the ball off the line.
Much of the attack in the first half stemmed from the right side of the Spirit setup. In the 27th minute Whitney Church whipped in a cross from the right side in to del Rio who was streaking toward goal. Del Rio couldn’t quite connect with Church’s cross, but the ball nicked a UVA defender on the way out and resulted in a corner.
UVA scored what would be the only goal of the match in the 35th minute. The attack began with a storming run up the right side of the pitch by Makenzy Doniak and ended with Alexis Shaffer tucking her shot just under Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys to put UVA in the lead 1-0.
The Spirit made a host of second half changes as Christine Nairn, Caroline Miller, Alex Singer, and Emily Lillard replaced Tori Huster, Laura del Rio, Whitney Church, and Kelsey Wys.
Lillard was tested almost immediately as she was forced to tip a UVA strike up over the crossbar in the 48th minute. Lillard was called into action again in the 60th minute as she denied UVA a second goal by tipping a strong shot over the back of her net.
Estefania Banini was the most dangerous attacking player in the second half for the Spirit. She consistently took on and beat several defenders to bring the ball in the final third. However, the Spirit weren’t able to find many final passes to test UVA goalkeeper Jessie Ferrari.
In stoppage time the Spirit earned a free kick about 30 yards from goal in what would be the final dangerous chance of the game. Christine Nairn took the kick aiming for the upper right corner of the goal, but her effort went just a few yards wide. The match ended 1-0 in favor of UVA.
The Spirit have their final match of the preseason calendar against the University of North Carolina on Saturday, April 4th. The game is set to kick off at 7 PM at the Maryland Soccerplex.
Washington Spirit Lineup
Kelsey Wys (Emily Lillard 45’), Katherine Reynolds, Megan Oyster, Estelle Johnson (Jennifer Skogerboe 80’), Whitney Church (Alex Singer 45’), Angela Salem, Amanda Da Costa (Emily Banes 89’), Joanna Lohman (Kelsey Pardue 89’), Tori Huster (Christine Nairn 45’), Estefania Banini, Laura del Rio (Caroline Miller 45’)
University of Virginia Lineup
Jessie Ferrari, Megan Reid, Meghan Cox, Kalli Torres, Alexis Shaffer, Makenzy Doniak, Brittany Ratcliffe, Kristen McNabb, Tina lordanou, Emily Sonnett, Olivia Hazelrigg
GOALS 1 2 F
University of Virginia 1 0 1
Washington Spirit 0 0 0
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 35 University of Virginia Alexis Shaffer Makenzy Doniak
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
Time Team ## Player Card Reason