Photo: Brad Smith / ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md (June 9, 2016)- The Washington Spirit (4-1-1, 13 points) heads to Boston this Friday to take on the Breakers (1-6-0, 3 points) in its third consecutive scheduled match on the road. The Spirit’s last game against the Houston Dash was postponed due to inclement weather. The Spirit now sits in third place with 13 points. Second place Portland Thorns also has 13 points but holds the tiebreaker of a better win/loss record against the Spirit. Meanwhile, Chicago Red Stars are currently in first place with 14 points.
The game will be streamed live on YouTube beginning at 7:00 pm ET: https://youtu.be/JyY6mKm8ePU
The two sides last met at the Maryland Soccerplex in the opening match of the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season. Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman, who is currently tied for first place for most goals scored in the NWSL this season with six other players, earned the first goal of the season. In the 3rd minute, Crystal Dunn sent a cross into the box, and Lohman executed a bicycle kick, giving the Spirit the win over the Breakers.
“It will be good to get back our regular rhythm and travel to Boston for a match this week,” said general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “We need to continue to improve as individuals and a team in order to get a result against a good Boston team.”
The Spirit’s offense has proved lethal this season. Both Lohman and fellow midfielder Diana Matheson are among the seven players tied for most goals scored this season. 2015 Golden Boot winner Dunn is in second place for most assists with four.
The Spirit’s defense has been equally effective so far this season. Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé has four clean sheets which puts her in a tie for first place with USWNT and Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Megan Oyster, Shelina Zadorsky, Alyssa Kleiner, and Ali Krieger have played nearly every minute of the season, creating a cohesive back four for Labbé to work with.
The Breakers currently sits at the bottom of the NWSL table; however, the team is rebuilding and strengthening its squad with each game as head coach Matt Beard continues to infuse his coaching philosophy into the club. The English-born Beard joined the Breakers during the off-season after departing as head coach of Liverpool Ladies in the FAWSL. The Breakers finally secured their first win of the season on May 22nd at home against reigning NWSL champions FC Kansas City thanks to a header from centerback and Breakers captain Whitney Engen. Boston will be looking to extend that success on Friday against the Spirit.
Next weekend, the Spirit will return to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, June 18th at 7pm to take on Orlando Pride. The Orlando game is already the hottest match up of the year and will likely be a sellout. Fans can be part of the NWSL soccer experience at perfectly manicured natural grass Maureen Hendricks Field by calling 301-337-8579 or visiting our website.