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Boyds, MD (August 7, 2018) – The Washington Spirit travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Utah Royals FC in a midweek match for their second of three straight road matches.
Wednesday’s game will be the second matchup between the Spirit and Royals this season and is Washington’s second visit to Utah. The Royals took the first game of the series 2-0 in May with goals from Royals defender Kelley O’Hara and midfielder Diana Matheson, their first goals of the season. The two teams will close out the series with their only game at the Maryland SoccerPlex on August 22.
Washington enters Wednesday’s game on short rest after falling 2-0 against Seattle Reign FC on Sunday night. Reign forward Jasmyne Spencer gave Seattle the lead with a close-range shot going into the half. Jodie Taylor put the game out of reach with a goal in the 71st minute.
The Spirit attack will look to end their three-game scoreless streak against Royals FC. The offensive front will have additional help from U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh (2 goals, 1 assist), who returned to action Sunday night, subbing in for Ashley Hatch in the 69th minute. Sunday was Pugh’s first game since injured her knee against the Houston Dash on May 27. The Spirit have scored five goals on the road during the 2018 season, three of those tallied by Pugh and Hatch.
The Washington back line will turn towards Taylor Smith and Caprice Dydasco, the only two Spirit defenders to appear in all 19 games this season, to lead the defensive efforts against Utah. The Spirit defense will focus on Royals leading goal scorer Katie Stengel (4 goals). Utah has scored eight goals at home this season, two of those coming from Stengel. The Royals have four additional players with multi-goal seasons.
The Spirit play their final road game of the season against the Houston Dash on Friday, August 17 with kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET. The team returns to the Maryland SoccerPlex Wednesday, August 22 to host the Utah Royals FC at 7:30 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]