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Boyds, MD (7/15/19) – The Washington Spirit Reserves defeated the Richmond Strikers 2-0 Sunday afternoon to win the CCL Pro23 Championship.
The victory caps off an impressive first CCL season for the team. The reserves scored a combined 26 goals and allowed zero through seven games, wasting no time making a name for themselves in the new league.
The game started out fairly even, with both sides having their share of possession and opportunities. Neither side was able to break through until the 30th minute when Spirit Reserves midfielder Paula Germino-Watnick picked up a ball in midfield and put it in the back of the net. Spirit goalkeeper Shelby Money then came up with two huge saves to keep Richmond off the scoresheet going into halftime.
With the 1-0 lead coming into the second half, the Spirit Reserves were able to take control of the match. After several opportunities just barely missed the goal, Spirit forward Jewel Christian earned a penalty kick in the 67th minute. Germino-Watnick then stepped up to put it away and double the reserves’ lead. The team was then able to close out the game to finish the season as CCL Champions.
Despite Sunday’s championship being a closer game, the reserves squad still recorded 21 shots. On the other end, Money made 3 saves to earn her seventh-straight clean sheet.
Reflecting on the team’s championship victory, Money said: “With this, I think everybody knew what was coming, and we knew the team won last year.” She continued, “With that, we knew we had to keep the ball at times; we had to possess and look for opportunities to go 2v1 against the other team and also just do things that we know how to do.”
With the championship behind them, the reserves players will soon head back to their respective college and club teams. Despite going their separate ways, each player will leave the team having had the unique opportunity to lift the CCL trophy together with the Spirit Reserves.