Crystal DunnPodcast

Crystal Dunn kneeling

The poor news keeps piling on for Washington Spirit fans. Crystal Dunn officially announced that she is leaving the NWSL and heading to Europe to play for Chelsea.

With Dunn leaving, 33% of the Spirit’s scoring in 2016 has left. Banini had five goals, Dunn had two, and Nairn had three. Let’s not forget Ali’s goal, either.

Fortunately, Washington has depth and still has Stengel, Williams, and Ordega ready to command the attack. The question is, will it be as potent at as the 2016 offense?

Tim Lawson, Jordan Small, and Monica Esenwein sat down to discuss Dunn’s departure and the news that WNY Flash have moved to North Carolina. Enjoy the first podcast episode of 2017!

Is there a player or topic you’d like to see featured on the podcast? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Follow the Follow Your Spirit team on Twitter!

Follow Your Spirit: @SpiritCoverage

Jordan Small: @jols98

Monica Esenwein: @Monz59

Tim Lawson: @TimLawson21

Kelley Piper: @kpiperphotos

NWSL PlayoffsPodcast

There wasn’t any player interviews this week because of a hectic work week some Spirit players have had with the team and other events.

Don’t be disappointed, though, because we have a great conversation featuring our own Jordan Small and Monica Esenwein from Backline Soccer.

Jordan, Monica, and myself discuss the nominations for the NWSL awards, the Spirit’s goalkeeper situation, and our thoughts on the Spirit v Chicago playoff game.

We hope to see you all at the Plex tonight. If you won’t be there, be sure to watch the live stream on YouTube.




Caitlin BuckleyJordan SmallPodcast

Squadron wish off Reign - Jordan Small and Caitlin Buckley talk Spirit | Photo by Kelley Piper

The second episode of the week features Jordan Small and Caitlin Buckley.

Jordan Small is Follow Your Spirit’s game recap writer and Caitlin Buckley is a contributor at Black and Red United.

Jordan and Caitlin talk about the Spirit’s performance against the Reign, who they believe should get player of the year, the different lineups the Spirit have used, and how they believe the playoffs will shake down.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and follow us on Twitter @SpiritCoverage.

Game PreviewPodcast

Mary Leatherman

The Spirit are coming off a tough loss against Portland as they head into Houston to face the Dash.

Crystal Dunn and Ali Krieger are out this weekend to play with the USWNT, so the Spirit will have to step up in their absence to prove they’re not the team that suffered a 4-1 loss to the Thorns.

This week’s podcast features a member of SpiritFam, Mary Leatherman, and contributor at, Jordan Small. Both of them provide their thoughts on the Spirit’s season so far and how they think Washington will stack up against Houston.


Note: I may reference Dunn and Krieger as if they were playing with Washington this week. Both players will be with the national team. I got lost in conversation and forgot that detail when discussing them.

Cali FarquharsonCrystal DunnGame PreviewJim GabarraJoanna LohmanPodcast

Cali Farquharson

Week 6 is here! Cali Farquharson and the Washington Spirit head to Portland to face the Thorns. Both teams go into the match undefeated, so there is a lot both teams can prove with a win tonight.

This week’s episode features sound bites from Coach Gabarra, Crystal Dunn, and Joanna Lohman on teamwork and camaraderie.

Then, a few minutes previewing the match in Portland.

The podcast wraps up with a fun interview with rookie forward Cali Farquharson.



Follow and Support:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. Use #FollowYourSpirit and #WhenIRoot to support the team, the coverage, and the community.

@SpiritCoverage (Official Account)

@CaliFarq (Guest)

@TimLawson21 (Founder)

@jols98 (Writer)

@kpiper72 (Photographer)

Ali KriegerCali FarquharsonChristine NairnCrystal DunnKatie StengelPodcast

Today’s podcast takes a look back a the Spirit’s win over the Boston Breakers and looks forward to their game on the road at Sky Blue.

Listen in for sound bites from Joanna Lohman, Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Cali Farquharson, and Christine Nairn.

Also, we get a chance to meet Katie Stengel and learn about her more as a player and as a person.

Intro music from our very own Spirit Squadron.

Ali KriegerChristine NairnCrystal DunnJim GabarraPlayer InterviewsPodcastPreaseason


Week 2 of the preseason is in the books. Washington Spirit beat Penn State 2-0.

This week’s podcast provides a quick recap of the game, some analysis of the team thus far, interviews from players and coaches, and a segment with Caitlin Buckley from Black and Red United.

Player interview include:

  • Crystal Dunn
  • Ali Krieger
  • Christine Nairn
  • Coach Jim Gabarra

Caitlin and I talk about some of the things that stand out to us so far. We also go over a few “bold predictions” we have for the season. Mine are:

  • Nairn will get double digit goals this season
  • … or Katie Stengel
  • Spirit will sweep Sky Blue
  • A Washington player will top the league in assists this season (and it might by Dunn)
  • Crystal Dunn will not be the team’s lead scorer

Enjoy! Follow us on Twitter @SpiritCoverage and follow my guest @CaitlinBuckley2. #FollowYourSpirit

Christine NairnJim GabarraJoanna LohmanKatie StengelPlayer InterviewsPodcast

The Washington Spirit took down the University of Virginia 3-0 on Saturday. It is the first time the Spirit have beaten UVA in a preseason match up.

You can read my post game analysis or listen to the podcast for my thoughts.

This week’s podcast features interviews and soundbites from Christine Nairn, Katie Stengel, Coach Gabarra, and Joanna Lohman. Plus, a few words from UVA Coach Steve Swanson.

Special thanks to Star City FanJennifer Gordon, and Caitlin Buckley for contributing questions during the post-game presser.

Be sure to tell me what you think on Twitter at @SpiritCoverage using #FollowYourSpirit

Game Day CoveragePlayer InterviewsPodcastPreaseason

The Washington Spirit took down the University of Virginia 3-0 on Saturday. It is the first time the Spirit have beaten UVA in a preseason match up.

Estefi Banini got off to a quick start with 2 goals in the first fifteen minutes. The first opportunity given to her by a smooth assist from Katie Stengel and the second coming off a deflection after Christine Nairn fired off her own attempt.

Goal number 3 came in the 38th minute during a corner attempt. The corner cross didn’t produce but Nairn got control of it again and found Stengel inside the box. Stengel showed great awareness as she gave the ball a quick touch and it bounced into the far side.

The second half of the game had limited excitement. Opportunities were there, but the wet 36 degree weather disrupted most of them.

Being the first preseason game, we won’t worry about evaluating too much, but a few things are worth mentioning.

First, Stengel had the most impressive outing of the squad. I know Banini had two goals, but one of them came from a Stengel assist and Stengel got her own on a heads up play. Stengel comes out as top performer for me because of how often she was contending for a ball and how often she was in position. She had at least 4 runs that fell short of a shot opportunity because the assist couldn’t get there, which brings me to point number two.

The second note is mid-range passing. Passing distances more than 2-3 yards was difficult for both teams. “The weather played a factor tonight and you could see that with both teams. It was harder to connect passes and it was so slick and the ball was moving all over the place.” said Stengal. It’s easy to blame it on the weather, but as Coach Gabarra told media after the game, “everybody has to adjust to the conditions.”

I’ll sandwich the con with two pros by mentioning that shot accuracy was wonderful. The Spirit shot 11 times, 8 of them being on target for 3 goals. That’s 72% accuracy with 27% success.

Ultimately, there isn’t much to read into here, but its fun to start evaluating. Be sure to listen to the podcast for player and coach interviews.

Featured on this weeks podcast: Katie Stengel, Christine Nairn, Coach Gabarra, Coach Swanson, and Joanna Lohman.

Goal Summary – min, goal (assist):

3′      Estefi Banini   (Katie  Stengel)
15′    Estefi Banini
38′   Katie Stengel  (Christine Nairn)