Regular Season Match 16

Box Score: 1-1

The Takeaway

  • Players Returning From The World Cup – During this summer’s World Cup, the Spirit had seven players called up to their respective nations teams, with five of the seven (Sheva, Carle, Tanner, Kingsbury and Sanchez) making their return to club play for this match. The biggest takeaway after the return of the Spirit’s players, is the need for consistency to return to the lineup. It’ll take time to readjust and rework the lineup, especially with new and injured players being added to the mix, but with the season’s end coming closer with each match, now is the time to fix any and all kinks and inconsistencies.
  • Iron-Woman, Sam Staab – The Washington Spirit defender, Sam Staab has extended her record for most consecutive starts in the NWSL, with 84 starts. Staab’s consistency and leadership on the pitch can always be felt, and seeing more accolades given to her throughout this season feels like the start of something great for the Spirit.

Game Recap-

The Spirit started the match off with even, yet inconsistent offensive control. With a few shots towards the goal in the opening half, no attempts from the Spirit or the Houston Dash connected for a goal.

Early in the second half, Sanchez was subbed on for Ricketts, and only a few seconds after touching the pitch, got the ball and scored, giving the Spirit the first goal of the match. With offensive control now favoring the Spirit, they’re spending more time near Houston’s box, but nothing connects for a goal to further their lead. 

Late into the second half, Houston starts pressuring the Spirit defense with attacks, sending a shot towards Kingsbury, but it leads to a save. It’s in stoppage time that Houston’s Sánchez gets the ball from Salmon, sending the ball into the back of the Spirit’s goal, equalizing the game at 1-1.

With a few more offensive runs from each team in stoppage time, nothing would connect for a goal, leading to the match ending in a draw, tied 1-1.

Washington Spirit Goals – Sanchez 63’

Houston Dash Goals – Sánchez 90+1’


Washington (4132)

Kingsbury (C); Carle (Elwell 56’), Staab, McKeown (Butel 62’), Bailey; Brooks (Huster 71’); Ricketts (Sanchez 62’), Metayer; Biegalski; Hatch, Silano (Starr 56’)

Houston Dash (433)

Campbell; Dydasco, Lind, Jacobs, Alozie (Peterson 64’); Schmidt (Harris 83’), Anderson (Ordóñez 82’), Puntigam (Viggiano 64’); Sánchez, Salmon, Tucker (Prince 58’)

Misconduct Summary:

Washington Spirit- 

Houston Dash- Alozie 21’

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That’s a cool stat about Staab. And I love all the national coverage Ashley Sanchez is getting–she doesn’t play one second in the WC–Vlatko had her nailed to the bench. But within 60 seconds of entering the match against Houston she has a goal.

David Rusk

Watching the Spirit match Saturday night and the World Cup final early Sunday morning, I was struck by the furious pace of the latter. Of course, Spain and England were playing in 50 degree weather and the Spirit were playing in 90/90 Houston.

Also, the ability of the Spaniards to play triangular keep away on the sidelines was just exceptional. Memories of the heyday of Messi-Xavi-Iniesta.

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