The Washington Spirit and the North Carolina Courage will meet on Saturday evening for the second time this season. After a 4-2 defeat at home to North Carolina, Washington will now travel to Cary to take on the first place Courage.
7:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 12, 2018
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina
Projected Starting Lineup
Aubrey Bledsoe; Taylor Smith, Whitney Church, Rebecca Quinn, Caprice Dydasco; Andi Sullivan, Tori Huster, Estefania Banini; Mallory Pugh, Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega
Estelle Johnson is listed as questionable with a hamstring strain. She injured her hamstring during practice on Wednesday. While it is still possible that she plays, her effectiveness will be a question for the match. During practice on Wednesday, Whitney Church and Rebecca Quinn were paired together at the center back position.
OUT: Rose Lavelle (left hamstring strain), Cheyna Matthews (pregnancy), Arielle Ship (right ACL recovery – D45)
QUESTIONABLE: Estelle Johnson (right hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None
Key to Victory
Win the midfield. North Carolina has one of the best midfields in the league. If the Spirit want to pick up a win on the road, they will have to improve the play of the midfield. With Estefania Banini returning and Rebecca Quinn expected to play on the backline, the midfield could look very different from weeks past. Expect Andi Sullivan, Tori Huster, and Banini to be the trio faced with stopping the high powered Courage midfield. Banini will help improve the offensive production of the midfield, something that has been lacking over the past month.