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On a day featuring cool temperatures and clear skies, the Washington Spirit Reserves offense found the conditions at the Maryland SoccerPlex ideal, scoring early and often throughout Saturday afternoon. The Spirit Reserves notched eight goals against the New Jersey Wildcats, extending their win streak to four games.
The victory puts the Spirit Reserves in a deadlock with Long Island Rough Riders for second place in Northeastern Conference standings, but each team has a game in-hand over the current frontrunner Virginia Beach Piranhas. Washington and Long Island meet this week for the first time this season to determine the early conference lead.
Portuguese National Team member Monica Mendes got things going early for the Spirit Reserves by scoring on a free kick near the onset of the match. Mendes’ shot from a few yards outside the penalty box curled precisely around the wall and tucked itself neatly in the side netting for the 1-0 advantage in the 7th minute.
Making her Spirit Reserves debut, former D.C. United Women member Molly Menchel blasted a finishing shot from a Jordan Grant cross in the 13th minute to double the home side lead.
Leading the league in assists, Washington forward Amber Stobbs split the New Jersey defense with a driven pass to send striker Tiffany Brown in on goal. Brown fired low past keeper Sage Dovale for the 3-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
New Jersey refused to go quietly, and grabbed a goal back just before the half time break when Jesse Fuccello drilled home a quality through ball from Claudia Vasquez to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard.
After the break, Washington again found their attacking stride as Kara Wilson scored two goals in less than a minute for the Reserves. Wilson rifled home a pass from Alex Doll in the 58th minute before finishing a cross from the assist-specialist Stobbs less than 60 seconds later.
Stobbs also added to her total points total as she tallied a goal of her own in the 68th minute off of a Brown assist, seemingly returning the previous favor from the first half.
Second half substitute Morgan Reuther picked up where she left off in the previous match, scoring two late goals to cap the scoring for Washington. Reuther fired home an unassisted shot in the 85th minute before following it up four minutes later by knocking home a cross from teammate Andi Sullivan.
“I think there is little doubt our offense was clicking,” commented W-League Director Tim Schweitzer. “The Wildcats are not a soft team, we were just firing on all cylinders today.”
“The stage is set for a battle with Long Island this week,” continued Schweitzer. “The Rough Riders are a great side and I am looking forward the match-up.”
The Spirit Reserves showdown with the Long Island Rough Riders happens this Thursday June 20th at 7:00PM. That match will be held as a special event at Howison Homestead Complex in Woodbridge, Virginia.