For the second straight game, the Washington Spirit have played their opponents to 0-0 draws. After coming away with one point against Sky Blue last Friday, the Spirit returned home to face the Seattle Reign.
Human Highlight Reel Aubrey Bledsoe
Aubrey Bledsoe racked up six saves in the match for the Spirit in the 0-0 draw. The shutout is her second in two games and fourth on the season. Her biggest save of the night game on a header from Megan Rapinoe late in the game. She also kept the Spirit even when she saved Rapinoe’s penalty kick in the 52nd minute.
“Luckily I was able to come up with some big time saves to keep us in it today,” Bledsoe said. “It was just me kind of feeding off the energy of the team, everyone was out there sacrificing their bodies with big time tackles. Quinn had one towards the end and her knee almost fell off. Just kind of being calm and reading the game. Not letting emotions come but just taking it play by play.”
Spirit Improve Free Kick Defending
The first time these two teams played this season, Washington gave up a free kick goal to Megan Rapinoe. After the first few games of the season, head coach Jim Gabarra mentioned how he was not pleased with his team’s defense on those free kicks.
On Saturday night, the Spirit gave up a number of free kicks once again, but the defense stepped up big time against Rapinoe’s chances. Multiple times Rapinoe played the ball into the wall or hit it way over the bar.
“I think it’s unfortunate the fouls we gave away on top of the box,” midfielder Tori Huster said. “We know that [Rapinoe] can hit those all day, everyday. We need to tidy that up a little bit, maybe be a bit smarter at the top of the box. Our walls were set well and I think we were ready for anything that bobbled. Aubrey did well to communicate what she wanted in front of goal.”
Rose Lavelle Picks Up First Start
For the first time since joining the Spirit, Rose Lavelle was featured in the starting eleven. After playing 25 minutes for the U.S. on Tuesday night, the Cincinnati native returned to the Spirit lineup with a bang. Lavelle played the first 45 minutes for Washington before being subbed out at the half.
After the game, Lavelle appeared to be walking with a limp and had trouble getting up the hill to exit the field towards the locker rooms. Head coach Jim Gabarra did mention after the game that she had ice on her left hamstring.
Washington will play host to the Orlando Pride on Saturday night. The game will be televised on ESPN News at 7 p.m. In the previous matchup between these two teams, the Spirit defeated Orlando 2-0.