Lindsay AgnewPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Lindsay Agnew

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

Position: Forward

College: Ohio State

Kelley Piper | Follow Your Spirit

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.

Arielle ShipPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Arielle Ship

Hometown: Westlake Village, California

Position: Forward

College: University of California – Berkeley

Kelley Piper | Follow Your Spirit
Ship in a preseason match vs. the University of Virginia on April 8, 2017.

Last season: Arielle Ship was drafted by the Seattle Reign with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 draft. Her rights were acquired by the Spirit in a trade that sent Diana Matheson to Seattle. In 2016, Ship lead Cal in goals (11), assists (6), and points (28).

2017 season: On April 5, Washington signed Ship to a professional contract. Ship came off the bench in the first two preseason matches and started the final two.  Because of limited numbers on the frontline, Ship could be thrust into the lineup early on. It will be interesting to see how the Spirit will use Ship as she adjusts to play at the professional level.

 

Cheyna WilliamsPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Cheyna Williams

Hometown: Hampton, Georgia

Position: Forward

College: Florida State University

Kelley Piper | Follow Your Spirit

Last season: In the 2016 draft, the Spirit drafted Cheyna Williams with the 7th overall pick. Williams played in 17 matches for the Spirit in 2016, starting in 8 of those games, and scoring three goals in that time. With a deep frontline last season, Williams frequently found herself coming off the bench as she adjusted to play at the professional level.

2017 season: With key departures at the position, Williams will gain more playing time for Washington this season. So far this preseason, head coach Jim Gabarra has played Williams and Katie Stengel together for most of their time on the field. It appears these two will most likely be the starters when the North Carolina Courage come to town for the season opener. With a season under her belt at the professional level,  Williams is poised to use her speed to produce more for the Spirit this season.

Francisca OrdegaPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Francisca Ordega

Hometown: Gboko, Nigeria

Position: Forward

College: N/A

Kelley Piper | Follow Your Spirit
Ordega in a preseason match vs. Duke on April 1, 2017.

Last season: Francisca Ordega played in 13 regular season matches, starting in 7 of those games. In the regular season, Ordega scored two goals and had one assist. She started in both postseason games, scoring the game-winning goal in extra time of the semifinal to send the Spirit to the NWSL Championship game.

2017 season: Ordega has seen limited action during the preseason as she recovers from a minor injury. If Ordega can stay healthy this season, she could be an elite super sub. Ordega’s speed could help her get into the starting XI, as she is faster than others on the frontline. Without a major international tournament drawing Ordega back to Nigeria, it will be interesting to see if she can keep her form all season.

Katie StengelPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Katie Stengel

Hometown: Melbourne, Florida

Position: Forward

College: Wake Forest University

Kelley Piper
Stengel vs. Duke on April 1, 2017.

Last season: Katie Stengel came to Washington just before the 2016 season from Bayern Munich. Stengel played in 19 regular season games for the Spirit, starting 10 of those matches. She was tied for second in goals scored with four and also had one assist. At 5’9”, Stengel brought a bigger presence to the Spirit’s frontline. In the offseason, Stengel played for the Western Sydney Wanderers of the Australian W-League.

2017 season: After a successful campaign in Australia, the Spirit have high hopes that Stengel will be able to keep up her prime form heading into the 2017 NWSL season. Stengel is one of just three returning forwards that will be available on Opening Day. So far this preseason, Stengel and Cheyna Williams have primarily been the two starting forwards for Jim Gabarra, something that is unlikely to change for the season opener.

Cameron CastleberryPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Cameron Castleberry

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Position: Midfield

College: University of North Carolina

Kelley Piper | Follow Your Spirit
Castleberry prior to the Spirit’s preseason match vs. the University of North Carolina.

Last season: The Spirit drafted Cameron Castleberry with the number 36 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Castleberry started as the attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Anson Dorrance’s Tar Heels. Last season was a bounce back year for Castleberry after she tore her ACL in November 2015.

2017 season: In three preseason games for the Spirit, Castleberry has played primarily on the flank in the 3-5-2 formation. If head coach Jim Gabarra starts the season with this formation, Castleberry will be the likely candidate to start on the right flank. One thing to keep an eye on is how Castleberry adjusts to the speed and physicality of the professional level.

Meggie Dougherty HowardPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Meggie Dougherty Howard

Hometown: Largo, Florida

Position: Midfield

College: University of Florida

Dougherty Howard prior to the Spirit’s matchup vs. Duke on April 1.
Photo Credit: Kelley Piper (@kpiperphotos)

Last season: Meggie Dougherty Howard was drafted by the Spirit with the number 29 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Dougherty Howard played for the Spirit Reserves in both 2015 and 2016. In 2016, she led the Gators in assists and was second in points and goals. Dougherty Howard was named to the All-Southeastern Conference first team and was named the SEC Tournament MVP.

2017 season: Dougherty Howard has seen limited action in the preseason, but did start in the midfield against Duke on April 1. With depth in the Washington midfield, Dougherty Howard could find herself near the bottom of the totem poll. It will be interesting to see when and where Dougherty Howard fits into the Spirit midfield.

Havana SolaunPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Havana Solaun

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

Position: Midfield

College: University of Florida

Solaun in the first preseason match of 2017 vs. Penn State.
Photo credit: Kelley Piper (@kpiperphotos)

Last season: Havana Solaun played for the Seattle Reign in 2016. She played in just six matches for the Reign, starting in three. Solaun scored one goal, a game-winner on June 12, 2016. The Spirit acquired Solaun’s rights in a trade that sent Christine Nairn back to Seattle.

2017 season: Solaun has seen limited action in the three preseason matches for the Spirit. It appears as though Solaun will be primarily used as a sub. Solaun will look to come on as a spark in the midfield and pick up more minutes in 2017. After a season-ending injury in the 2015 preseason, Solaun will look to have a breakout year and establish herself at the professional level.

Kassey KallmanPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Kassey Kallman

Hometown: Woodbury, Minnesota

Position: Defense

College: Florida State University

Kallman in the first preseason match of 2017 vs. Penn State.
Photo Credit: Kelley Piper (@kpiperphotos)

Last season: Kassey Kallman spent the 2016 season with the Boston Breakers. Kallman came over to the Spirit in an offseason trade that also brought Kristie Mewis to D.C. She started all 20 matches for the Breakers in 2016, playing every minute of every match.

2017 season: Although Kallman is listed as a defender on the roster, it appears that head coach Jim Gabarra will use her as a flank player in the 3-5-2 system. Kallman has started the first two matches of the preseason for the Spirit. If necessary, Kallman could slide into the backline if Washington moves to a four back system. Kallman’s ability to defend well one-on-one will be important in the new three back system.

Kristie MewisPlayer Previews

As the 2017 NWSL season approaches, we will be rolling out profiles on the 2017 Washington Spirit roster.

Name: Kristie Mewis

Hometown: Hanson, Massachusetts

Position: Midfield

College: Boston College

Mewis in a preseason match vs. UNC on March 25, 2017.
Photo credit: Kelley Piper (@kpiperphotos)

Last season: Kristie Mewis played in 14 games for the Boston Breakers in 2016. She scored one goal and added one assist. Mewis struggled to find her place in the Boston midfield last season. After dealing with a variety of injury problems throughout the year, Mewis was dealt along with Kassey Kallman to the Spirit in the offseason.

2017 season: In two appearances for the Spirit this preseason, Mewis has scored three goals. Despite coming off the bench in both matches, Mewis has made a strong impact in the second half. Look for her to come off the bench to start the season, most likely coming on for Joanna Lohman in the number 10 role. Also look for Mewis to be the primary free kick taker when she is on the pitch.