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Boyds, MD (May 23, 2018) – Ashley Hatch netted a 64th minute game-winner and Rose Lavelle made her Washington Spirit debut in a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC on Wednesday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Washington (2-5-2, 8 pts) snapped a six-game winless streak in the home victory over Sky Blue FC (0-6-1, 1 pt), finishing off a two-game homestand.
No. 1 overall NWSL College Draft pick Andi Sullivan notched the first assist of her professional career, serving up a free kick to Hatch, who powered home a header for her second goal as a member of the Spirit. [WATCH]
The opportunity came after Mallory Pugh was tripped on the previous play, earning a free kick in the attacking third. Sullivan served an aerial pass just in front of the post, as Hatch out-jumped Sky Blue FC’s Janine Beckie to head the ball in.
Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe recorded her second shutout of the season, stopping all four shots she faced. Bledsoe and the Washington defense held Sky Blue FC’s offense to one shot in the second half. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan stopped two of three shots on goal.
Washington almost got on the board with a tally from Francisca Ordega in the 11th minute. Taylor Smith split two defenders going into the box and crossed the ball in front of the net. Ordega deflected the ball past the goalie and off the left goalpost.
The Spirit dominated the first half of play, controlling 56 percent of possession and winning 53.6 percent of duels.
In the 51st minute, Hatch had a one-on-one chance to break open the scoring. The forward went on a breakaway after a pass from Ordega at midfield. Hatch beat Sheridan, but the shot went just wide of the right post, keeping the game scoreless.
Midfielder Rose Lavelle entered the game for Estefanía Banini in the 74th minute, marking her debut as a member of the Spirit.
With Lavelle and Tori Huster providing fresh legs in the midfield during the second half, Washington continued to control the ball with 59.6 percent of possession.
Spirit defenders Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson and Smith all played the full 90 minutes of shutout soccer.
The Spirit return to action on the road Sunday, May 27 to take on the Houston Dash. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Washington’s next home game will be on Saturday, June 2 for an NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime matchup against the Chicago Red Stars. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs Sky Blue FC
Date: May 23, 2018
Venue: Maryland Soccerplex
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, Mid 70’s
|Sky Blue FC||0||0||0|
WAS – Ashley Hatch (Andi Sullivan) 64’
WAS (4-3-3): Aubrey Bledsoe; Caprice Dydasco; Whitney Church; Estelle Johnson (c); Taylor Smith; Andi Sullivan; Estefania Banini (Rose Lavelle, 74’); Rebecca Quinn (Tori Huster, 46’); Francisca Ordega (Meggie Dougherty Howard, 85’); Ashley Hatch; Mallory Pugh
Subs not used: Kelsey Wys; Havana Solaun; Joanna Lohman; Mallory Eubanks
NJ (4-3-3): Kailen Sheridan; Erica Stroski (Christina Gibbons, 51’); Rebekah Stott; Amanda Frisbie; Mandy Freeman; Raquel Rodriguez; Sarah Killion; Carli Lloyd (c); Janine Beckie; Madison Tiernan (Savannah McCaskill, 61’); Katie Johnson
Subs not used: Jennifer Hoy; Shea Groom; Caroline Casey; Thaisa; Dominique Richardson;
Stats Summary: WAS / NJ
Possession: 57.7 / 42.3%
Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 9
Offside: 2 / 7
WAS – Francisca Ordega (Yellow Card) 16’
Referee: Natalie Simon
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Nickrod Fateh