Washington Spirit Remain Undefeated at Home, Del Rio Injured


PHOTO | Washington Spirit

On a beautiful Saturday night, the Washington Spirit (6-5-2, 21 points) settled for a 1-1 draw against the league-leading Chicago Red Stars (11-7-1, 23 points) to remain undefeated at home.

In the first five minutes of the game, the Red Stars had two solid attempts on goal but goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made two outstanding saves to keep the Red Stars scoreless.

During the first 15 minutes of the game the Red Stars and Spirit goalkeepers, Harris and Karina LeBlanc, kept their teams level at 0-0 with equal opportunities coming from midfield play, which was strong throughout the first half.

In the 30th minute the Red Stars built momentum in the midfield and capitalized first with a low shot placed into the left corner by forward Christen Press.

Spirit forward Laura del Rio had two solid attempts on net from short corner kicks, but LeBlanc came up huge each time for the Red Stars. Del Rio was injured in the 43rd minute and was transported to a local hospital. The team will provide an update on her injury once it has been fully assessed. After around seven minutes of injury time, the Spirit went into the locker room down 1-0.

The second half momentum would shift towards the Spirit after the first 15 minutes with possession throughout the midfield leading to opportunities on goal.

In the 82nd minute Christine Nairn had a great move to evade her defender and put a shot on goal which deflected off a Chicago player and Crystal Dunn followed up on the rebound and blasted the ball into the back of the net. Dunn with her ninth goal of the season, equalized for the Spirit bringing to score to 1-1.

Right after the Spirit goal, the Chicago Red Stars had a close opportunity with Press taking a shot to the far corner but Harris made an amazing save to keep the game at 1-1.

In the 88th minute, a corner for the Spirit taken by Nairn was placed to Estelle Johnson, who got a foot on it, but defender Samantha Johnson cleared the ball off the line.

Dunn capitalized again for the Spirit to earn a point at home.

The Spirit will play a third consecutive game at home as they face the Houston Dash at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 1st.

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