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Thursday’s 10 p.m. matchup with the Seattle Reign at Starfire Stadium marks the first of a three-game road trip, which will also take the club through Portland on Sunday and then to Boston next weekend.
But the first step is getting past the Reign (0-4-1), who will also be looking for their first National Women’s Soccer League victory after dropping their last three contests. Seattle has suffered three straight shutouts since Jessica Fishlock’s goal in Week 2, but the fiery midfielder leads a squad that will still pose a threat for the Spirit.
“There’s enough parity in this league that you can always count on a tough match,” Spirit head coach Mike Jorden said. “They’re looking for their first win just like we are, so we know we’ll have to work hard and keep building off some of the successes we’ve had so far.”
The Spirit (0-2-3) lead the league in draws after finishing level with third-place Boston (twice) and fourth-place Western New York.
The team will look to lock down Fishlock & Co. while showing continued improvement on offense. Diana Matheson is tied for second in the league with three goals, while Tiffany McCarty scored in the season opener and captain Lori Lindsey fired in a stunning equalizer last weekend against the Breakers.
Seattle has been without its two biggest stars thus far, as goalkeeper Hope Solo is out with a wrist injury and midfielder Megan Rapinoe is finishing up her stint with French club Olympique Lyon.
In Solo’s stead, Michelle Betos has been impressive in goal, leading the league with 27 saves. That sets up an intriguing goalkeeping battle Thursday, as the Spirit’s Ashlyn Harris is also among the league leaders with 22.
Thursday’s match can be viewed online here below, with kickoff at 10 p.m. EDT.
In addition, fans can ensure their place at the Maryland SoccerPlex for the Spirit’s June 15 return against the Flash by visiting tickets.washingtonspirit.com.