What They’re Saying After the Spirit’s Fourth Consecutive Road Win

Washington Spirit  |   July 7, 2024
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On Saturday night, the Washington Spirit won its 11th match of the season by defeating Bay FC 3-0 in Head Coach Jonátan González’s debut. After the match, he spoke with media alongside Andi Sullivan and Makenna Morris who became the first Spirit player in history to score a goal, record an assist, and draw a penalty in a single match.



Jonátan González

On getting his first victory:

Thank you – good feeling for sure, after winning 3-0. I think we deserved the victory; we played better than Bay FC. Personally, being the first day, it is important to get three points. I’m happy because I think we showed a good performance. For sure, we can do better things. We did a good job. Part of the game, we struggled a lot because they have good players. I have to be happy today after three points, 3-0, good game, good performance.


On starting strong, then coaching adjustments later on:

I think we started really well. After the second goal, the feeling with the ball was different. They were being a little more aggressive. We were playing with only one player in the pocket. Then we had another one, when Ouleye (Sarr) was dropping the position, we didn’t create many chances to play the way she faces, then we had to face the opposing goal. We had Makenna (Morris) height to have more options to receive because Croix (Bethune), my feeling was today that she was very well defended by the opposing midfielder. We found better passes to have an easier build up situation. In the end, you have to suffer a lot because in this league all the teams, they have important players. Defending Asisat (Oshoala) and (Racheal) Kundananji is really, really difficult, but with the ball, without the ball, I think we did a really good job.


On Makenna Morris’ start and her role in this game:

I am really happy after the performance of Makenna because she’s showing a great performance in training. She is very smart with and without the ball. When you say something, she knows why she has to. She deserved to play from the beginning today, and we think playing with Trinity (Rodman) in the left, creating chances with Ouleye dropping this position. We need to (create) 1v1 situations being out with the right-side. And the impact in the first 25-30 minutes was good. After the first goal, I think she created a penalty, so a good, good game. In the second half, she played in the pocket coming inside from the left wing. She is able to play in that position being in and out. I like the players finding different places to play, I like that.  She is one important player because she is capable to play width, she’s capable to play inside coming from the left. So, modified the roles where we are attacking and where we are defending is try to take and get some of the Spirit to be better players and have the teammates.


Andi Sullivan & Makenna Morris

On how Makenna Morris feels after scoring her first professional goal:

Makenna: To score my first professional goal was honestly such an amazing feeling and to do it with such great teammates – it all comes down to them. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them, and I’m just happy to be here, and that it was with all of them. It made it just so much more special.


On the advantages after coming back from Makenna’s injury

Makenna: Coming back from injury was hard, but it also gave me a new perspective, and I was able to watch the film and practices and learn how the coaches wanted us to play from an outside role. I think just coming in and doing what I can and trying to implement what they teach us.


On the first game experience with Head Coach Jonatan Giráldez:

Andi: For me, the environment at Bay (FC) was very, very loud. So, it was honestly really fun to play there but not as easy to hear from the bench for me, especially being more central on the field. So, it felt pretty normal to me. His transition has been very smooth. I feel that we feel really comfortable with him and with Adrián and they’re both there with us on the field. We feel like we’re really committed to this team, and so are they, even though Jona has only been here for a short time. It honestly felt very seamless, so I’m excited that he’s taken that first step, and I’m looking forward to many more.


On the importance of this win before the Olympic break:

Makenna: To end on a good note was amazing and what we wanted and it just gives us a lot to look forward to moving forward. We are walking away from playing a great team with three points is what we wanted.

Andi: I think it was super important because last week we didn’t feel like we played like ourselves, and we feel like we didn’t uphold our own standards, so to be able to fix that before we break for the week and then have players kind of coming and going was really important. Going forward, we know that we played this game, we scored several goals, we got a shutout, but we’re also realizing that we made a lot of mistakes and we have so many ways we can improve. We’re happy to get the win, get the result, and get the rest. When we come back, we know we have so much more work to do, and that we can be even better. So, that’s the big takeaway from this game for us.



On what they’re looking forward to during this next period:

Makenna: For me, it’s going to be a little bit of both – a little bit of rest, then also learning more and trying to take as many steps forward as I can. Also, trying to get some fitness back from coming back from injury and all of that. I think it’s going to be a little bit of both – continuing to learn and also take some time off, hangout with family, and enjoy that time.

Andi: I think everyone is super looking forward to the break and has worked really hard and really deserves it. Coming back, it’s going to almost feel like a mini pre-season which is such a gift at this point of the season, kind of past halfway. To have a recommitment to our mission and purpose and our energy and our focus, we know we’re playing well. We can keep getting better. We have a great team. We have a great staff. But now, we’re going to have to double down on everything. Again, learn more, train harder, all these different things. I am really, really looking forward to it. I feel like our team has a lot of depth. You saw tonight, it was Makenna’s first start, she came in and balled out and was the best player on the field. We have other players who are not getting as many minutes or not getting any minutes, and I think this summer tournament is a great opportunity for them to get game minutes on the field with each other, and I think that is so, so important. So, I am really, really excited for that part of the season. Maybe that’s people playing different positions or people getting more time. I think that is a key point for our team to develop and continue to be close and continue to learn and get better.

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