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The Washington Spirit Reserves failed to hold a one goal lead to the visiting New York Magic, surrendering a pair of goals in final 15 minutes to fall 2-1on a stormy evening at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Magic forward Brittany Pfaff knocked home the game winner in the 86th minute to doom the Washington W-League side in their season opening affair.
Numerous area thunderstorms forced stadium and field closures throughout early Saturday evening, pushing kickoff to 6:00 p.m. from the originally scheduled 4:00 p.m. time; which was originally planned as a doubleheader with the NWSL professional game between the Washington Spirit and Boston Breakers in Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium.
Despite the delay, things could not have started better for the home side Spirit Reserves. Washington grabbed the early lead in the 6th minute when forward Tiffany Brown turned with the ball in the Magic box and flicked it to speedy teammate Ashley Herndon, who blasted in from close range for the 1-0 lead. This is the third year Brown and Herndon have played together and the chemistry showed immediately.
The Spirit Reserves peppered New York for much of the first half, out-shooting the Magic 10-3. However Washington was unable to solve the Magic defense to find the net and the half finished with the single goal lead.
The second half began much like the first initially, but as time wore on New York found themselves creating more chances. The Magic had a golden opportunity in the 71st minute, however Washington goalkeeper DiDi Haracic snuffed out the point blank shot to preserve the slim lead.
The Magic evened things up in the 75th minute when forward Brittany Pfaff slotted the ball through the middle for substitute Lorena Maggio to finish. Eleven minutes later, Pfaff herself would take matters into her own hands to break free near midfield and race in on the Washington goal. Pfaff’s low shot found the back corner of the goal to earn the 2-1 victory for the Magic.
The Spirit Reserves remain home next week to face the Virginia Beach Piranhas on Saturday May 18th. Match time is set for 7:00 PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex.