The Washington Spirit earned a point in the table for the first time in a month Sunday evening by way of a scoreless draw with the Orlando Pride at Audi Field.
The Spirit saw plenty of chances to put the ball in the net, beginning with an Amber Brooks header off the crossbar following a corner kick in the sixth minute. In the 15th minute, the Spirit’s leading shot-taker during the international window Tara McKeown made a great move to create space at the top of the box and fired a shot wide left.
The very next minute, Orlando nearly capitalized on its first offensive chance of the evening when Darian Jenkins received a perfect through ball and found herself wide open on a breakaway but sent her shot wide right of the net. Jordan Baggett tried for her second goal in the past three games in the 19th when she ripped a shot off from the top of the box following a rebound that was saved by Pride goalkeeper Erin McCleod. In the 20th minute, Devon Kerr stopped another chance from Jenkins when she jumped on the ball before Jenkins had a chance to shoot. Just before the half, Kerr again made a big defensive play when she made a diving save off Jenkins in stoppage time to send the scoreless match into the locker room.
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Washington Spirit Post Match Press Conference Video from 7/17. This was after the team’s scoreless draw with the Orlando Pride and features thoughts from Head Coach Kris Ward to go along with Tara McKeown and Devon Kerr:
The Spirit quickly created another couple of great chances in the attacking third in the opening minutes of the second half. In the 47th minute, Jordan Baggett sent a shot to the top right corner of the net that had to be tipped out for a corner by McCleod and, on the ensuing corner kick, Taylor Aylmer directed her header just wide left. Baggett again had a shot saved in the corner of the goal in the 52nd minute before Dorian Bailey’s dribbling shot was received by McCleod with ease in the 54th minute.
Devon Kerr made her second save of the match in the 73rd minute when she met a Dougherty Howard shot in the top left corner of the goal in time to keep the match level. Washington turned up the offensive intensity late in the second half with four good looks at the net in the final 15 minutes of action. In the 83rd minute, Bayley Feist put the ball between her defender’s legs along the sideline and fed a centering pass leading to a McKeown shot high. Two minutes later, Karina Rodriguez sent another cross McKeown’s way but her shot was saved by McCleod. In her second match back from injury, Averie Collins fired a shot wide right in the 89th minute and Feist followed suit with a shot just over the crossbar late in stoppage time.
Despite controlling most of the match in its attacking third, the Spirit had to settle for just a point in the scoreless draw and will keep looking for its first win since May 1. The Spirit now enters the NWSL’s league-wide week off which will run from Monday, July 18 through Sunday, July 24. When the league returns to action, Washington will once again have its USWNT players available as the Concacaf Women’s Championship wraps up tomorrow. Next up for the Spirit is a trip to North Carolina to take on the Courage for the fifth time in four months.
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