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Boyds, MD (April 12, 2018) – Despite falling 3-0 to the 2017 NWSL Shield-winning North Carolina Courage in a preseason match on March 17, midfielder Andi Sullivan and her Washington Spirit teammates are looking forward to Saturday’s first regular season meeting with the Courage after almost a month of rigorous improvement and chemistry building.
“I think the last time we played North Carolina, it was obviously early, and we were just kind of getting settled and now we have a lot more chemistry,” said Sullivan, who returned to Spirit camp this week after representing the U.S. Women’s National Team during the recently completed FIFA window. “We’re really just pushing those boundaries and seeing how fluid we can be, and how quick we can play.”
Washington’s steady improvement since the preseason tilt in Richmond, Va. has come in large part simply due to the new-look roster getting in more time together on and off the field. Following a narrow 2-1 defeat on a season-opening West Coast road trip against Seattle Reign FC, the Spirit’s progress was on full display in their home opener on March 31, a 2-0 shutout of the Orlando Pride.
As for North Carolina, the Courage have not skipped a beat during the regular season, opening the 2018 campaign with a pair of 1-0 wins over reigning NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC. Saturday will be the first of three regular season meetings between Washington and North Carolina, and will be the only home game for the Spirit in that series.
“North Carolina’s a great team, they’re obviously super fast and powerful and well organized and disciplined, so it’s going to be very challenging for us to combat that,” Sullivan said. “We’re excited to play them again after a preseason match and show how much we’ve improved in those few weeks.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game at the Maryland SoccerPlex is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]