Boyds, Md. (April 6, 2019) – The Washington Spirit hosted collegiate side Virginia Tech at the Maryland SoccerPlex for their final preseason game before the beginning of the 2019 NWSL season, defeating the Hokies 1-0.
The Spirit created early chances to put themselves ahead within the first few minutes of the match. In the second minute, Spirit forward Ashley Hatch saw a curling effort from outside the box swerve just outside the right post and out for a goal kick. Hatch created one more opportunity in the 4th minute after she connected with a cross, but sent the shot just over the ball.
The Spirit offense was getting up-field effectively in the first half, firing five shots through 45 minutes. Washington’s defense flexed their muscles, not allowing a single Hokie shot in the entire half. Rookie defenders Tegan McGrady and Sam Staab put in strong performances, leading the Spirit backline and stifling Virginia Tech’s attackers.
The second half saw the Spirit become more aggressive on the offensive end while maintaining their strong defensive dominance. Midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard hit a rocket-shot on goal in the 49th minute, only for Virginia Tech goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn to make a spectacular fingertip save, pushing the ball over the crossbar. Five minutes later, midfielder Jordan DiBiasi made a run from the right side of the box, cut inside and sent a driven left-footed shot towards goal, but the attempt went just wide.
After forward Arielle Ship won the Spirit a penalty in the 72nd minute but the Hokies kept the match scoreless after the keeper made a diving save on the ensuing Joanna Lohman penalty kick. Lohman once again nearly gave the Spirit the lead minutes later after connecting with an in-swinging Tori Huster corner kick, but the quick header smashed the crossbar and soared out for a goal-kick.
Lohman finally found the back of the net in the 79th minute after striking a quick, low shot that deflected off the keeper and rolled into the back of the net, giving the Spirit a 1-0 lead. The lone Lohman goal proved to be the difference in the game as the scoreline remained the same after 90.
The Spirit showed positives on both sides of the ball, attempting 19 shots while the lone VT shot attempt came off a free kick. In addition, the Spirit defense was well-organized, catching the Hokies offsides three times.
The Spirit’s 2019 NWSL regular season will begin next Saturday, April 13 against Sky Blue FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET., with gates A and D opening for all ticket-holding fans at 6 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Virginia Tech
Date: April 6, 2019
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Mid 60s, Sunny, Calm
WAS: 1-Aubrey Bledsoe (c); 3-Sam Staab; 5-Megan Crosson; 14-Paige Nielsen; 4-Jordan DiBiasi; 20-Cheyna Matthews; 9-Tegan McGrady; 19-Dorian Bailey; 33-Ashley Hatch; 8-Meggie Dougherty Howard; 23-Tori Huster
Substitutes: 2-Arielle Ship; 13-Bayley Feist; 15-Joanna Lohman; 16-Tiffany McCarty(NRI); 18-McKenzie Berryhill(NRI); 24-Carlin Hudson(NRI); 30-Shae Yanez (NRI)
VT: 1-Amanda McGlynn (c); 3-Jaylyn Thompson; 4-Emily Gray; 7-Kiersten Hening; 8-Kelsey Irwin (c); 13-Karlie Johnson; 17-Olivia Odle; 18-Kara Henderson; 24-Emmalee McCarter; 25-Emma Steigerwald; 27-Grace Sklopan
Substitutes: 00-Alice Hamel; 2-Molly Feighan; 6-Caroline Cipolla; 11-Bridget Patch; 12-Mikayla Mance; 14-Alexa Anderson; 15-Allyson Brown; 23-Sarah Smith; 32-Mathilda Lindstrom
5-Megan Crosson (out) → 2-Arielle Ship (in)
63’ 8-Meggie Daugherty-Howard (out) → 18-McKenzie Berryhill (in)
66’ 33-Ashley Hatch (out) → 15-Joanna Lohman (in)
66’ 20-Cheyna Matthews (out) → 16-Tiffany McCarty (in)
79’ 14-Paige Nielsen (out) → 24-Carlin Hudson (in)
79’ 9-Tegan McGrady (out) → 13-Bayley Feist (in)
83’ 1-Aubrey Bledsoe (out) → 30-Shae Yanez (in)
30’ 13-Karlie Johnson (out) → 2-Molly Feighan (in)
30’ 24-Emmalee McCarter (out) → 12-Mikayla Mance (in)
40’ 25-Emma Steigerwald (out) → 15-Allyson Brown (in)
54’ 7-Kiersten Hening (out) → 6-Caroline Cipolla (in)
69’ 15-Allyson Brown (out) → 13-Karlie Johnson (in)
81’ 2-Molly Feighan (out) → 11-Bridget Patch (in)
81’ 4-Emily Gray (out) → 12-Mikayla Mance (in)
Stats Summary: WAS / VT
Shots: 19 / 1
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Blocked Shots: 5 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 4
Offside: 1 / 3