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Photo: Tony Quinn/ ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md (Aug 17, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (9-3-2, 29 points) will take on the Houston Dash (3-7-3, 12 points) on the road Thursday August 18th at 8 p.m ET. The game between the two teams at BBVA Compass Stadium was scheduled for May 27th but was rescheduled due to weather. Because the game was not played, both the Dash and Spirit have played fewer matches than most NWSL clubs. The Spirit, with one game in hand, is tied for first place with the Portland Thorns. This makeup match provides an opportunity for the Spirit to take sole possession of first place in the NWSL standings.
In their last meeting, when the Dash traveled to Maureen Hendricks Field on May 14, the Spirit secured a 1-0 win on a header inside the box late in the first half from team veteran Joanna Lohman. Midfielder Christine Nairn crossed the ball in toward goal and Lohman capitalized on the shot.
Due to the Olympics, the Spirit’s defensive line will still be without goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and center back Shelina Zadorsky who will be playing for Canada in the Olympic bronze medal match on Friday. The center back pair of Estelle Johnson and Megan Oyster, who started together all but two games of 2015, will look to continue to anchor the center of the Spirit’s defense. USWNT right back Ali Krieger will be available for selection for the first time since the Olympic tournament.
The Spirit’s defense will be trying to stop a Dash offense that has struggled this season but gained momentum as of late with Houston scoring and remaining undefeated in its last three matches. While the Dash will also be missing key players still at the Olympics, the team has attacking talent in the form of forward Kealia Ohai who has three goals and three assists.
With just six games left in the season, the Spirit hopes to continue its successful run and secure a spot in the playoffs. The Spirit has recorded the most wins so far this season of all of its competitors with nine.
USWNT forward Crystal Dunn will not be available for selection for this match.
The match will be streamed live on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Hlq0gNwkG50
The Spirit’s next match will be August 26th in Orlando against Orlando Pride. The Spirit returns home to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday September 3rd to take on Western New York Flash. Fans can purchase tickets at tickets.washingtonspirit.com.