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Boyds, Md. (August 22, 2018) – The Washington Spirit came up just short on Wednesday night, falling 1-0 to Utah Royals FC in front of 3,318 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Washington goalkeeper DiDi Haracic turned in a 10-save performance which included multiple highly challenging stops in each half. Utah’s Amy Rodriguez netted the only goal of the night in the 12th minute, finishing a chance from close range into the bottom right corner, after an initial save by Haracic.
Utah (8-7-8, 32 pts) moves to fourth in the NWSL standings, with Washington (2-16-4, 10 pts) staying in eighth. The game was the Spirit’s first under interim head coach Tom Torres.
Haracic showed impressive reflexes in the 38th minute, stopping two close-range shots from Rodriguez, leaping to protect her top left corner on the first, and diving right to palm away the second. Heracic made five saves in each half.
Royals FC racked up 14 shots in the first half, including 11 shots in the box. Utah also retained 58 percent possession to the Spirit’s 41 percent in the first 45 minutes.
Washington’s best chance to equalize came in the 52nd minute, when Taylor Smith served a sharp cross to Ashley Hatch in the middle of the box, who just sliced the right-footed shot wide right.
Haracic continued to stall tall in goal during the second half, making a spectacular two-handed diving save after a floating header from Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir threatened the top right corner in the 59th minute. 14 minutes later in the 73rd, Haracic took flight again, diving left and saving a dangerous bending shot from Taylor Lytle. Haracic ended the night with 10 saves.
The Spirit’s next game is against the third place Portland Thorns, and will be Washington’s debut at Audi Field on August 25, with an 8:00 p.m. kickoff.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs Utah Royals FC
Date: August 22, 2018
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 70s, clear
UTA – Amy Rodriguez 12’
WAS (4-3-3): 21-Didi Haracic; 3-Caprice Dydasco; 24-Estelle Johnson (c); 4-Rebecca Quinn; 7-Taylor Smith; 6-Andi Sullivan; 16-Rose Lavelle (8-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 62’); 5-Whitney Church; 22-Mallory Eubanks; 33-Ashley Hatch; 11-Mallory Pugh (17-Cali Farquharson, 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 2-Arielle Ship; 9-Havana Solaun; 15-Joanna Lohman
UTA (4-3-3): 18-Nicole Barnhart; 6-Katie Bowen; 2-Rachel Corsie; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (c); 3-Rebecca Moros; 24-Katie Stengel; 11-Desiree Scott (9-Lo’eau LaBonta, 66’); 23-Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir; 12- Taylor Lytle (10-Diana Matheson, 73’); 8-Amy Rodriguez (5-Kelley O’Hara, 76’) ; 21-Christen Press
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Abby Smith; 15-Erika Tymrak; 16-Samantha Johnson; 19-Katrina-Lee Gorry
Stats Summary: WAS / UTA
Possession: 46.3 / 53.7 %
Shots: 2 / 21
Shots on Goal: 0 / 11
Saves: 10 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 8
Fouls: 2 / 5
Offside: 1 / 5
UTA – Rachel Corsie (Yellow Card) 17’
Referee: Natalie Simon
Assistant Referee 1: Ben Pilgrim
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Skinker
Fourth Official: John JR Griggs