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BOYDS, Md (Feb 21, 2017) – The 2016 NWSL Championship finalist Washington Spirit’s 2017 home opener will be on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET at the Maryland SoccerPlex against North Carolina Courage, kicking off a 24-game schedule which includes an expanded slate of 12 home games. Known previously as the Western New York Flash before being sold this offseason, the Courage will be playing its first match under its new name and ownership but retains a majority of its NWSL Championship roster, as well as head coach Paul Riley.
Tickets for the game are available for group sales of 20 people or more or as add-ons in any quantity by 2017 Season Ticket holders now through Friday, February 23, 2017 at 12 noon, followed by sale to the general public. Group purchasers or Season Ticket holders can order by calling 301-591-0927 or calling their ticket representative directly. Season Tickets can be purchased at tickets.washingtonspirit.com.
The teams last met on October 9, 2016 during the 2016 NWSL Championship in Houston, Texas where fans in attendance and 180,000 television viewers witnessed the most dramatic NWSL Championship in league history.
The Spirit took the lead early in the 9th minute through Crystal Dunn but allowed a 14th minute shot from U.S. Women’s National Team player Sam Mewis. Neither team found another goal in regular time, but the Spirit took the lead through Dunn again less than two minutes into the first overtime period. The Spirit held on for half an hour of overtime, but in the 4th minute of stoppage time, Lynn Williams headed the ball into the net, sending the match to penalty kicks, where goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo made three saves during the shoot out to help secure the win.
Prior to the NWSL Championship, the two teams played twice during the 2016 regular season, with the Spirit defeating the Flash 3-0 on April 29 on the road and drawing 1-1 at the SoccerPlex in front of more than 4,500 fans on September 3. Spirit forward Katie Stengel scored in both matches, including her first career NWSL goal.
In last year’s home opener, the Spirit kicked off its most successful season to date with a 1-0 victory over Boston Breakers. Joanna Lohman opened the historic fourth NWSL season in dramatic fashion with a bicycle kick goal in the 3rd minute.
Additional information about the 2017 season, including the national broadcast schedule on Lifetime, will be revealed soon.