Boyds, MD (Sept. 30, 2017) – Despite a first half brace from U.S. international forward Mallory Pugh, the Washington Spirit fell 3-2 to visiting Seattle Reign FC in Saturday night’s 2017 NWSL season finale with 3,780 fans on hand at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
“We want to thank the Spirit family, Spirit Squadron and all the fans who supported us this season,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “We look forward to taking the field next season and continue to make them proud.”
Pugh broke the scoring open in the 27th minute with a breakaway goal, making a long run and weaving around the goalkeeper before striking the empty net. Fellow rookie Meggie Dougherty Howard notched her first career assist on the play. [WATCH]
The 19-year-old rookie netted her team-leading sixth goal of the season less than five minutes later, tapping one in from point blank range after receiving a pass across the box from Havana Solaun. The assist was Solaun’s team-high fourth of 2017, on a play in which she drew the defense and goalkeeper over to her side, before hitting Pugh wide open in front of the far post. [WATCH]
Seattle stormed back from a 2-0 halftime deficit with three unanswered goals in the second half, all in the final 19 minutes. Welsch international Jess Fishlock had a hand in all three goals, scoring two and assisting one.
“We’re very proud of our performance, particularly the first half,” Gabarra said. “We were unfortunate not to score a few more goals, and Seattle is a very good attacking team who created some good chances of their own.”
Reign FC’s first goal came in the 71st minute off the right foot of Fishlock, struck into the top center of the net from the right side of the box. Kiersten Dallstream provided the assist on the play.
Larissa Crummer netted the equalizer for Seattle in the 83rd minute, less than five minutes after entering the game as a substitute for Beverly Yanez. Fishlock registered the assist on Crummer’s strike into the center of the net from the left side of the box.
Fishlock scored the game-winner in the 90th minute, sending another right-footed strike into the upper netting.
Overall, Washington outshot Seattle 19-12, with nine shots target to Reign FC’s seven. Pugh led all players with eight shots, five of which were on frame. Caprice Dydasco and Tori Huster finished tied for the team lead with 56 passes each.
Season tickets for the 2018 Washington Spirit season will be available starting on Tuesday, October 3.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit (5-15-4, 19 pts) vs Seattle Reign FC (9-8-7, 34 pts)
Date: September 30, 2017
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7:00 pm ET
|Seattle Reign FC||0||3||3|
WAS – Pugh (Dougherty Howard) 27’
WAS – Pugh (Solaun) 32’
SEA – Fishlock (Dallstream) 71’
SEA – Crummer (Fishlock) 83’
SEA – Fishlock (Dallstream) 90’
Seattle Reign FC: Schiffel, Pickett, Barnes, Bauer, Reed (Mathias 62’), Utsugi, Fishlock, Nairn, Kawasumi (Dallstream 56’), Johnson, Yanez (Crummer 78’)
Substitutes Not Used: Corsie, McNabb, Stott
Washington Spirit: Haracic, Kallman, Zadorsky, Church, Dydasco, Huster, Dougherty Howard, Proffitt, Pugh, Farquharson (Williams 63’), Solaun (Agnew 81’)
Substitutes Not Used: Banini, Wys
Stats Summary: SEA/WAS
Shots: 12 / 19
Shots on Goal: 7 / 9
Saves: 7 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 6 / 6
Offside: 3 / 2
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Brooke Mayo, Walter Heatherly
Fourth Official: Gary Gutierrez