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By Owen Krucoff
Boyds, Md., (6/13/19) – After a well-earned weekend off for the NWSL’s World Cup break, the Washington Spirit are back in action this Saturday with a road test at Reign FC. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET from Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington, and fans can watch the match on NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network.
As the game approaches, here are some notable Spirit stats to keep an eye on.
The Spirit have been locked in defensively this season with four clean sheets in their first seven games and the best goals allowed mark in the league. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe has been the foundation of the team’s defensive efforts, playing every minute of the season while racking up a league-high 32 saves.
Meggie Dougherty Howard (88.6%), Sam Staab (85.8%) and Andi Sullivan (84.6%) have three of the five highest passing accuracy rates in the NWSL this season (for players with a minimum of 200 pass attempts). All three were drafted by the Spirit within the last three years, including Staab, who is just seven games into her rookie season.
Another area in which the Spirit have become established as one of the NWSL’s top passing teams is total attempts. Against Utah Royals FC on June 1, the Spirit attempted 622 passes, their second time breaking the 600 mark this year. No other team in the league has attempted 600 passes in a game a single time this season.
The Spirit are a perfect five-for-five at winning games in which they score the first goal. No other NWSL team has as many wins in such situations. The Spirit will have a good chance to continue that trend this week, as Reign FC have allowed a league-high four goals in the first 15 minutes of games.
The Spirit boast the league’s longest active unbeaten streak, as well as the longest active winning streak (four games). If the team can earn a win or draw against Reign FC this weekend, the new six-game unbeaten run would be longest in team history.