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BOYDS, MD (April 8, 2017) – The Washington Spirit earned a 2-0 shutout victory over the University of Virginia on Saturday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex, completing an undefeated preseason with four straight wins over college opponents.
Washington netted a goal in each half, starting with a 21st minute strike from Kristie Mewis on an assist from Kassey Kallman. The goal was Mewis’ fourth of the preseason, bringing her even with Katie Stengel for the team-lead during the exhibition schedule.
After the Spirit took a 1-0 lead into halftime, Joanna Lohman added an insurance goal in the 65th minute. Just one minute after entering the match, Francisca Ordega made a nice run down the right side and sent the ball into the crowded box, where Lohman corralled the ball in a scrum and beat the Virginia keeper to extend the lead.
Goalkeeper DiDi Haracic recorded the clean sheet in net, playing the full 90 minutes and notching one save. Haracic was not called upon until the 86th minute, when she stopped the only shot on frame that she faced all night. It was the third shutout effort in four preseason matches for Washington’s back line.
“Overall it was a good performance, I was very happy with the defensive group,” said Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra. “We didn’t give up a shot on goal until the end, so we were solid defensively and our organization was good on that side of the field.”
Washington’s midfield and forwards were collectively active throughout the match, with several different combinations of players linking up for scoring opportunities. The Spirit outshot Virginia 14-5 overall, and had a 7-1 advantage with shots on goal.
“We still have a lot to work on but I feel like we’re really starting to connect,” said Mewis on her new teammates, as she enters her first season with the club after joining from the Boston Breakers. “They’re really smart players and I’m starting to feel a real chemistry with them.”
Next up, the Spirit will open the regular season on Saturday, April 15 at Maureen Hendricks Field with a re-match of the 2016 NWSL Championship against the North Carolina Courage, formerly known as the Western New York Flash. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. [Tickets]
Washington Spirit Lineup: 2-Arielle Ship (9-Havana Solaun, 79′), 5-Whitney Church, 6-Kassey Kallman (22-Alyssa Kleiner, 71′), 12-Katie Stengel, 15- Joanna Lohman, 16-Cameron Castleberry (29-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 71′), 19-Kristie Mewis, 20-Cheyna Williams (14-Francisca Ordega, 64′), 21-DiDi Haracic, 23-Tori Huster, 24-Estelle Johnson
University of Virginia Lineup: 2-Betsy Brandon, 9-Taylor Zeimer, 12-Veronica Latsko, 16-Phoebe McCleron, 17-Annaugh Madsen, 21-Montana Sutton, 25-Alissa Gorzak, 26-Lorato Sargeant, 27-Brianna Westrup, 29-Sarah Maurer, 31-Lizzy Sieracki (Subs: 13-Jasmine Wright, 14-Samantha Rosette, 15-Kayla Morrison, 22-Meghan McCool, 28-Morgan Beans, 30-Anna Sumpter)