Washington Spirit set for Saturday night face-off with Houston Dash at Maureen Hendricks Field

Washington Spirit  |   April 28, 2017
Washington Spirit set for Saturday night face-off with Houston Dash at Maureen Hendricks Field Featured Image

Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash
2017 NWSL Regular Season
Maureen Hendricks Field – Boyds, Maryland
Saturday, April 29 – 7 p.m. ET

BOYDS, MD (April 28, 2017) – After securing the club’s first point of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League season last weekend in Orlando, the Washington Spirit (0-1-1, 1 pt) returns home to Maureen Hendricks Field this Saturday for a match-up with the Houston Dash (1-1-0, 3 pts). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. [Tickets]

Washington will play on its home field for the second time this season, returning home following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Orlando Pride in Florida. Denmark international Line Sigvardsen Jensen netted her first career NWSL goal on a header, while goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and the Spirit back line held the opposing attack to just one goal for a second straight week. The Spirit opened the season with a narrow 1-0 loss at Maureen Hendricks Field against the defending NWSL Champion North Carolina Courage.

“We look forward to building off our last performance in Orlando,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “It will be another opportunity for us to play in front of our fans in an environment that we can succeed in.”

Houston began the season with a 2-0 home win over the Chicago Red Stars as Kealia Ohai scored one goal and assisted Rachel Daly on the other, while goalkeeper Lydia Williams and the Dash defense registered their first clean sheet of 2017. Houston fell 5-1 last weekend in Seattle and will continue its road swing this weekend at the Maryland SoccerPlex, where the club is 0-4-0 all-time.

While Houston seeks its first ever win at Washington, the Spirit will look to secure its first victory of 2017 after a strong two-way performance by the club in Orlando. Washington put up six shots on goal to the Pride’s five, and in total won 35 duels to the Pride’s 26.

Four Spirit players – Kassey Kallman (12), Shelina Zadorsky (11), Tori Huster (9) and Whitney Church (8) – rank in the NWSL’s top six so far this season in interceptions, as the club leads the league in the category with 59, 14 more than second-place Seattle’s 45. Meanwhile, Labbé leads all NWSL goalkeepers with 12 saves through her first two matches, and Huster ranks tied for third in the league with seven tackles won.

Kallman made NWSL history last week as well, extending her consecutive minutes played streak to a league record 3,780 minutes, a run which now includes 42 straight regular season matches dating back to 2014. Former Western New York Flash and current FC Kansas City defender Brittany Taylor held the previous NWSL “Ironwoman” consecutive minutes streak at 3,690.

+READ: Kassey Kallman sets new NWSL ‘Ironwoman’ record for consecutive minutes played

On Thursday, the Spirit announced the signing of U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team forward Crystal Thomas, who is expected to suit up for the club on Saturday. Thomas helped lead Georgetown to its first Women’s College Cup appearance in 2016, scoring the game-winning goal in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals against Santa Clara.

Tickets for all Spirit home matches are available now at https://tickets.washingtonspirit.com

In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Spirit are also offering 1 free ticket to this or the May 6 game against Sky Blue FC to anyone who volunteers for a soccer organization and completes the following online form before Saturday, April 30 at midnight: https://washingtonspir.wpengine.com/national-volunteer-week-ticket-offer/

Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash – Top Facts, Provided by Opta

  • Washington are currently on a four-game winning streak against the Dash. The Spirit have outscored Houston 7-2 and have kept two clean sheets during this streak.
  • Washington allowed just five goals at home in 2016, three fewer than any other team in the NWSL.
  • Houston was the only team last season to not keep a clean sheet on the road.
  • Washington have faced a league-high 43 shots this season (nine more than any other team), 14 of which have been on target –also a NWSL-high.
  • Houston conceded two headed goals last week. The rest of the NWSL has allowed two headed goals all season.

Head-to-Head Stats

Wins Wins GF GF
All-time 8 6 1 1 12 7 + 5 WAS
At WAS 4 4 0 0 8 3 + 5 WAS
2016 2 2 0 0 5 2 + 3 WAS
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