BOYDS, Md. (April 18, 2015) – The Washington Spirit (1-1-0, 3 pts) claimed their first victory of the season against FC Kansas City (0-1-0, 0 pts) Saturday night in their home opener at Maureen Hendricks Field in Boyds, Md. Christine Nairn’s brace and Crystal’s Dunn’s goal in the first minute of the second half lifted the Spirit to a 3-1 win over the Blues.
Both teams got on the score sheet early, but FC Kansas City was the first to strike in the 6th minute after Lauren Holiday slid a ball in the box to the feet of Heather O’Reilly. O’Reilly sent in a cheeky lofted shot that slipped past the fingertips of goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
The Spirit equalized just three minutes later when midfielder Christine Nairn took a signature shot from distance and blasted her shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
The Blues applied continued pressure throughout the first half, but several solid saves from Harris kept the scoreline at 1-1 heading into the locker room at halftime.
The Spirit started off the second half with a bang as Crystal Dunn stripped the ball off Jen Buczkowski in midfield and played it forward to Laura del Rio. Del Rio drove toward goal before sending the ball back to Dunn who ran on to it and toe poked the ball into the back of the net in the 46th minute.
Nigerian striker Francisca Ordega made her NWSL debut in the 60th minute as she replaced Estefania Banini. Ordega made an immediate impact on the Spirit front line giving Sauerbrunn a ton of trouble at the back with both her pace and technical skill.
The Spirit further extended their lead in the 65th minute after Crystal Dunn earned a free kick at the top of the box after a foul by Amy LePeilbet. Long range specialist Christine Nairn stood over the ball and delivered a laser straight into goal beyond Barnhart.
Next week the Spirit will head out on the road to play Sky Blue FC on Sunday April 26th at 6 PM. The match will be streamed at www.youtube.com/NWSL.
Washington Spirit season tickets are available now (10 home matches), with packages starting as low as $170.
Washington Spirit Lineup
Ashlyn Harris; Katherine Reynolds, Megan Oyster, Estelle Johnson, Alex Singer (Amanda Da Costa 77′); Tori Huster, Angela Salem, Christine Nairn (Joanna Lohman 68′); Crystal Dunn, Laura del Rio, Estefania Banini (Francisca Ordega 60′)
Subs not used: Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Caroline Miller, Kelsey Wys
FC Kansas City Lineup
Nicole Barnhart; Rebecca Moros (Sarah Hagen 71′), Becky Sauerbrunn, Amy LePeilbet, Leigh Ann Robinson; Jen Buczkowski, Yael Averbuch (Shea Groom 82′), Erika Tymrak (Liz Bogus 71′); Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, Frances Silva, Mandy Laddish
GOALS 1 2 F
FC Kansas City 1 0 0
Washington Spirit 1 2 3
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 6 FC Kansas City Heather O’Reilly Lauren Holiday
2 9 Washington Christine Nairn Angela Salem
3 46 Washington Crystal Dunn Laura del Rio
4 65 Washington Christine Nairn –
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
Time Team ## Player Card Reason
27 Washington 23 Tori Huster Yellow Reckless Foul
56 Washington 6 Angela Salem Yellow Reckless Foul
64 FC Kansas City 17 Amy LePeilbet Yellow Professional Foul
95+ FC Kansas City 2 Shea Groom Yellow Reckless Foul