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Boston, MA (July 1, 2017) – The Washington Spirit (3-6-2, 11 pts) lost a 1-0 decision on the road against the Boston Breakers (3-6-3, 12 pts) on Saturday afternoon at Jordan Field in front of a crowd of 2,523.
The loss for the Spirit put an end to the team’s three-game unbeaten streak. Rookie forward Margaret “Midge” Purce netted the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute for Boston, coming off an assist from Rosie White.
Washington outshot Boston 14-13 overall, as the Breakers put six shots on target to the Spirit’s five. The Spirit controlled 54.3 percent of the possession, and made 408 total passes (70.3% accuracy) to Boston’s 345 (66.7% accuracy).
“It was a frustrating result,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “I think we created plenty of chances to win and had one lapse on our setplay, and suddenly we were down a goal. I felt like we should have scored two or three in each half. We just have to regroup and get ready for Orlando next week.”
Washington came within literal inches of scoring on two different occasions, once in each half. In the sixth minute, Kristie Mewis sent a corner kick toward the top left of the box to Whitney Church, who fired a shot back across the frame to the right side to what appeared to be an open net, but defender Brooke Elby got in front to make the save just before it reached the goal line.
In the 60th minute, Spirit forward Mallory Pugh struck the underside of the crossbar on a shot taken from the right side of the box, preventing what would have been the 19-year-old’s second career NWSL goal. Pugh came off the bench to start the second half as she suited up for the first time since injuring her ankle while on U.S. Women’s National Team duty on June 11.
Argentine international forward Estefanía Banini made her 2017 debut for Washington, entering in the 67th minute for Mewis. Banini recorded one shot on target in her 23 minutes of action.
Canadian international goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé made five saves in the loss, including a diving stop moving from post-to-post on a shot headed inside the left post taken by Rosie White in the 72nd minute. Prior to that in the 25th minute, Labbé made a highlight one-handed leaping save, tapping away a long distance strike from Morgan Andrews which was headed for the upper shelf. Boston’s rookie goalkeeper, Sammy Jo Prudhomme, notched her second clean sheet of the week, making four saves to follow up on her shutout against the Houston Dash on Wednesday.
Spirit midfielder Havana Solaun led all players for either team with 53 total passes, while Shelina Zadorsky and Tori Huster each made 48. Zadorsky’s 85.4 percent passing accuracy was a game-high. White and Angela Salem led Boston with 46 passes each.
The Spirit will return to action next Saturday, July 8 to host the Orlando Pride in what wil be the first ever NWSL on Lifetime Game of the Week played at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Kickoff is set for 3:50 p.m. with coverage on Lifetime starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for all Washington Spirit home games are available now at Tickets.WashingtonSpirit.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers vs. Washington Spirit
Date: July 1, 2017
Venue: Jordan Field, Allston, Mass.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees, sunny
1 2 F
BOS 0 1 1
WAS 0 0 0
BOS – Margaret Purce (Rosie White, 73)
BOS: 15-Sammy Jo Prudhomme; 3-Brooke Elby, 8-Julie King (C), 4-Megan Oyster, 2-Alyssha Chapman; 26-Angela Salem, 25-Morgan Andrews, 10-Rosie White; 7-Emilie Haavi (21-Margaret Purce, 62), 9-Natasha Dowie (22-Ifeoma Onumonu, 81), 19-Adriana Leon (18-Tiffany Weimer, 75)
Subs not used: 1-Libby Stout, 17-Amanda Frisbie
Head Coach: Matt Beard
WAS: 1-Stephanie Labbe, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 5-Whitney Church, 6-Kassey Kallman (3-Caprice Dydasco, 81), 24-Estelle Johnson, 19-Kristie Mewis (10-Estefania Banini, 67), 23-Tori Huster, 29-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 9-Havana Solaun, 14-Francisca Ordega, 20-Cheyna Williams (11-Mallory Pugh, 46)
Subs not used: 2-Arielle Ship, 8-Lindsay Agnew, 21-DiDi Haracic, 22-Alyssa Kleiner
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: BOS / WAS
Shots: 10 / 17
Shots on goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 1 / 11
BOS – Allysha Chapman (caution, 62’)
WAS – Estelle Johnson (caution, 64’)
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referee 1: Maggie Short
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Randall Kelley