The Washington Spirit will return home to take on the Orlando Pride in the home opener at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday afternoon.
3:50 PM ET on Saturday, March 31, 2018
Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland.
Projected Starting Lineup
Aubrey Bledsoe; Taylor Smith, Rebecca Quinn, Estelle Johnson, Caprice Dydasco; Andi Sullivan, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Tori Huster; Mallory Pugh, Ashley Hatch, Havana Solaun
The Spirit signed Mallory Eubanks this week as a National Team Replacement Player. Eubanks, a 2018 draft pick, scored the only goal for Washington in the preseason. She replaces Estefania Banini and Yanara Aedo, who are both away at the 2018 Copa America Femenina. That tournament runs from April 4 through April 20.
OUT: Rose Lavelle (left hamstring strain), Cheyna Matthews (pregnancy), Arielle Ship (right ACL recovery – D45)
QUESTIONABLE: Cali Farquharson (left tibial stress injury)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Estefania Banini (ARG), Yanara Aedo (CHI)
Key to Victory
Get the offense going. Last week, the Spirit had numerous chances on goal but really struggled on the finishing side. A goal by Joanna Lohman in the 68th minute gave the Spirit hope, but that was all Washington could muster in search of a comeback. This week, against an Orlando team that gave up a goal before the game was even five minutes old, the Spirit need to grab a lead early. While the Spirit will be without Estefania Banini due to international duty, Marta will also be out for Orlando. If Alex Morgan (concussion) is not able to go for Orlando, it is even more vital that Washington pounce on the Pride early.