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BOYDS, Md. (May 1, 2015) – The Washington Spirit (2-1-0, 6 points) continue their three game road series by traveling West to face Seattle Reign FC (1-0-2, 3 points) on Saturday. The Spirit are looking to continue their momentum from two consecutive victories, while the Reign are on a two game losing streak.
“We have two tough road trips ahead with Seattle up first and the team is preparing very well for the challenges that we will face,” said head coach Mark Parsons. “The preparation this week has been great and there is a lot of hunger in the team to keep improving.”
The Spirit continued their strong run of form with a dominant performance in New Jersey with a 3-1 win over Sky Blue FC last Saturday. Crystal Dunn terrorized Sky Blue’s backline supported by fellow striker Francisca Ordega. The two combined for the Spirit’s first goal of the match in the 6th minute. Just before the second half, Dunn completed her brace after receiving the ball from Angela Salem and beating goalkeeper Brittany Cameron one-vs-one. Christine Nairn rushed onto a cross from Ordega to barrel in the final goal of the night for the Spirit.
The Spirit will be without goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger as both prepare to head to camp with the U.S. women’s national team for final World Cup preparations.
Harris had three outstanding performances to help the Spirit win two of three games played so far this season. Backup goalkeeper Kelsey Wys has starting experience in the NWSL earned last season with the WNY Flash and should be an able replacement for Harris while she is with the national team.
Krieger has been sidelined with a concussion since the season opener in Houston following a collision early in the match. Krieger is making great progress and recently returned to light training. Estelle Johnson replaced Krieger during the Houston match and has started the last two matches in that center back spot. Johnson has provided tremendous stability and steadfastness to the backline in Krieger’s absence and will continue to do so in her World Cup absence.
Two amateur players have been called up for the match. Goalkeeper Emily Lillard and defender Jennifer Skogerboe traveled with the team to Seattle and will be a part of the 18 player game day roster.
The Reign will also be without their national team players Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe. Seattle will be looking to snap a two game slide following consecutive losses on the road to the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City. The Spirit last played the Reign in the semifinals of the 2014 NWSL playoffs. Despite a strong performance, the Reign’s attack overpowered the Spirit backline and secured a narrow 2-1 win which secured them a spot in the finals.
Next week the Spirit continue their Pacific Northwest road trip as they head south to Oregon to face the Portland Thorns on Saturday May 9th at 10 PM.
Washington Spirit season tickets are available now (10 home matches), with packages starting as low as $170. Check out all of the phenomenal NWSL soccer at the Maryland SoccerPlex by calling 301-337-8579.