Saturday, 7 p.m. ET | Maryland SoccerPlex | Boyds, Md.
Huster had a team-best 46 total passes and seven tackles while Denmark international Line Sigvardsen Jensen scored her first career NWSL goal to help Washington bounce back from a Week 1 loss with a 1-1 road draw against the Orlando Pride in Week 2.
Sigvardsen Jensen’s goal gave the Spirit a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute as she headed the ball into the back of the net after an attempted punch out by Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris following a corner. The Spirit scored just four times from corners during all of last season (tied for sixth) and did not convert on one until July 2 – 10 games into the 2016 season.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé made four saves – three of which came in the first half – and forward Havana Solaun registered a game-high two shots on target in the match as she and her teammates look to establish new connections following a busy offseason.
Coach Jim Gabarra will want to see his squad continue to forge those bonds as Washington attempts to avoid a winless three-game start for the first time since 2014, when the Spirit went four matches without a victory to start that season.
The Spirit own the longest active playoff streak in the league – having reached the postseason in each of the last three years – but Gabarra and his players will know that only two of the eight teams to begin a season without a win through the first three matches have recovered to make the playoffs – with the 2013 Western New York Flash and 2014 FC Kansas City the only clubs to pull off the feat.
The Dash will take the field looking to banish the ghosts of another stadium where they have struggled through the years.
Houston fell to a 5-1 defeat on the road against the Reign in Week 2 to slump to 0-5-0 all-time at Seattle. Coach Randy Waldrum and his players will be hoping to evade that mark against the Spirit on Saturday at Maryland SoccerPlex – where the Dash are 0-4-0 all-time and have been outscored 8-3 in the process.
Poliana scored the lone goal the match for Houston in Week 2 when she thumped home a sweetly-taken volley in the 84th minute that served as late consolation against the Reign. The tally was the culmination of a free kick played into the box by Amber Brooks that Sarah Hagen got a foot to which forced a save from Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer before Poliana drove home the looping rebound.
Houston managed just one goal from set pieces all of last year – and that was from a corner. The marker was the first dead-ball goal scored by the Dash in 30 games since U.S. international Carli Lloyd scored direct from a free kick against FC Kansas City in July 2015.
The Spirit have won their last four matches overall against Houston – tied for Washington’s longest winning streak against a single opponent.
|All-time||8||6||1||1||12||7||+ 5 WAS|
|At WAS||4||4||0||0||8||3||+ 5 WAS|
|2016||2||2||0||0||5||2||+ 3 WAS|