The Washington Spirit picked up their first point of the season after they played the Orlando Pride to a 1-1 draw. The match was the first ever Pride match at the new Orlando City Stadium.
Line Sigvardsen Jensen opened up the scoring in the 60th minute off of a corner kick from Shelina Zadorsky. The original corner kick was punched away by Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, but the rebound fell to the head of Sigvardsen Jensen just past the penalty spot. The lofted header was the first NWSL goal in her career.
The Pride would get the goal back in the 86th minute when rookie Danica Evans slipped through the Spirit defense and around goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé for the equalizer. After a solid game as a backline, the Spirit could not control a late game Pride attack.
Labbé had a lighter workload this week as she was forced to make only five saves. Her biggest play of the evening came when she closed out Brazilian midfielder Marta, who was making her NWSL debut. Labbé’s effort caused Brazilian to shoot the potential game-winner just wide of the net.
The Spirit offense created more chances against the Pride, registering six shots on goal. Much of the offensive improvement came from the play of Havana Solaun and rookie Lindsay Agnew. Solaun made her first start of the year and Agnew made her professional debut coming on in the 19th minute after forward Katie Stengel went down with an injury. Agnew’s substitution marked the third the third injury substitution head coach Jim Gabarra has been forced in a little over 119 minutes of play. Despite the injury bug, Gabarra was upbeat about the team’s effort.
“It was a better performance than our first match, so it’s a step in the right direction,” Gabarra said.
Washington will be back in action on Saturday, April 29 as they host the Houston Dash at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The Dash are coming off of a 5-1 defeat on the road in Seattle. US national team goalkeeper Jane Campbell made her professional debut for the Dash in the loss. Kickoff for the April 29th matchup is set for 7 p.m.
As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.
Name: Lindsay Agnew
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio
College: Ohio State
Last season: Lindsay Agnew was drafted by the Spirit with the number 19 pick in the 2017 NWSL draft. Agnew led the Buckeyes in points during the 2016 season with 10 goals and 8 assists. She was named to the All-Big 10 second team. Agnew is a dual-citizen and represents Canada at the national team level. She made her Canadian debut in January of this year.
2017 season: Agnew has made three appearances for the Canadian National team in 2017. She was not named as an allocated player for 2017, and will not count against the Spirit as an international slot as she is from Ohio. At 5’9”, Agnew brings some much-needed height to the Spirit’s frontline. Look for Agnew to get some minutes as a target forward, possibly as a sub for Katie Stengel.