Spirit Falls Short 2-3 at Home to NJ/NY Gotham FC

Washington Spirit  |   July 18, 2021
Spirit Falls Short 2-3 at Home to NJ/NY Gotham FC Featured Image

Sara Campbell, Luke Bennett, Ian Decker

Leesburg, VA, (07/18/2021) – The Washington Spirit were defeated in their tenth match of the 2021 NWSL regular season this evening, 2-3. 

The Spirit kicked off tonight’s action with some early chances on goal. This began with forward Tara McKeown’s left-footed shot from the center of the box, but Gotham FC goalkeeper Didi Haracic kept Washington off of the scoresheet in only the 2’. 

With NJ/NY on the front foot, Midge Purce earned a free kick right outside the top of the box. In the 7’, defender Sam Staab was shown a red card by the center referee and exited the game. The next few minutes proved to be chippy on both sides of the ball. 

Despite playing with 10 players, the Spirit capitalized on an opportunity set up by Andi Sullivan. In the 13’, the midfielder played a ball over the top to Trinity Rodman on the left flank. Rodman drove the line, cut to the right, and buried a curler past Haracic for her first goal at Segra Field. 

Chances looked few and far between for both sides until Gotham FC almost scored off of a Caprice Dydasco corner. Aubrey Bledsoe saved the attempt on net, proving to be in the right place at the right time. The score remained in favor of Washington. 

The Spirit’s luck changed in the 24’ as NJ/NY equalized from a Kawasumi shot. After Dydasco lofted the ball in from the corner flag, Kawasumi tucked the ball into the left corner bringing the score to 1-1. The momentum did not stop there for Gotham FC as captain McCall Zerboni headed the ball past Bledsoe in the 35’ to put the visiting team on top. 

Just before the end of the first half, Washington managed to string a number of passes together for some decent looks on net. Most notably, McKeown slotted a through ball to Ashley Sanchez, whose right-footed shot was saved by Haracic in the bottom right corner. The Spirit closed out the first half down a goal. 

The second frame began with a Spirit substitution – attacker Mariana Speckmaier made her debut for the Spirit and entered the match for Ashley Hatch up top. With Washington putting pressure on Gotham FC’s defense, Speckmaier won a free kick in the opponent’s attacking third in the 57’. Midfielder Ashley Sanchez, taking the free kick for Washington, managed to beat NY/NJ’s wall and pinged the ball inside the net. ]

The match’s next action came in the 76’ after Ifeoma Onumonu delivered a pass to set up Purce for a promising shot on net. The Gotham FC forward used her right foot to beat Bledsoe in the bottom left corner, leaving the Spirit trailing by one goal. 

In an attempt to equalize at home, Camryn Biegalski struck a through ball to Speckmaier in the 84’. The forward’s shot just missed the inside of the right post to keep the score, 2-3. 

The game’s five minutes of stoppage time was not enough for the Spirit to find another opportunity as a Gotham FC corner kick closed out tonight’s game.

For their next league fixture, the Spirit will hit the road against Racing Louisville on Sunday, July 25 at 5:00 pm ET at Lynn Family Stadium and will be broadcast live on Paramount+ (USA).

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. Gotham FC

Date: July 18, 2021

Venue: Segra Field 

Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET

Weather: Partly cloudy, low-70s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 1 1 2
NJ/NY 2 1 3


WAS- Trinity Rodman – 13’

NJ/NY – Naho Kawasumi – 24’

NJ/NY – McCall Zerboni – 35’

WAS – Ashley Sanchez – 56’

NJ/NY – Midge Purce – 76’


WAS (4-3-3): 1- Aubrey Bledsoe; 9- Tegan McGrady (24- Chinyelu Asher 81’); 3- Samantha Staab; 21- Anna Heilferty (30- Camryn Biegalski 81’); 14- Paige Neilsen; 19- Dorian Bailey; 12- Andi Sullivan; 27-Tara McKeown (17- Kumi Yokoyama 73’); 10- Ashley Sanchez; 2- Trinity Rodman (25- Karina Rodriguez 64’); 33- Ashley Hatch (20-Mariana Speckmaier 45’)

Unused Substitutes: 31- Sydney Schneider; 26- Taylor Aylmer; 28-Morgan Goff; 18-Devon Kerr

NJ/NY (4-4-2): 13- Didi Haracic; 28- Imani Dorsey; 12- Gina Lewandowski; 24- Estelle Johnson; 3- Caprice Dydasco; 27- Gaëtane Thiney (11- Sodam Lee 61’); 16- Allie Long; 7- McCall Zerboni; 9- Naho Kawasumi (18- Delanie Sheehan 75’); 25- Ifeoma Onumonu (19- Elizabeth Eddy 85’); 23- Midge Purce

Unused Substitutes: 2- Brianna Pinto; 6- Jennifer Cudjoe; 14- Kenie Wright; 15- Sabrina Flores; 17- Domi Richardson; 21- Mandy McGlynn 

Stats Summary: WAS / NJ/NY

Shots: 8 / 24

Shots on Target: 5 / 7

Saves: 3 / 4

Blocked Shots: 1 / 4

Fouls: 5 / 10

Offside: 2 / 7

Misconduct Summary: 

WAS – Sam Staab 7’ – Red Card

NJ/NY – Allie Long 51’ – Yellow Card

NJ/NY – Midge Purce 92’ – Yellow Card

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