By Celia Balf
Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh has been voted Player of the Week for Week 2 by the NWSL Media Association.
Pugh earns the honors after scoring a goal in the Washington Spirit’s 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride on Saturday, March 31. Pugh made her NWSL debut last year, and has scored seven NWSL career goals to date. Her goal in Week 2 was her first of 2018 with the Spirit.
Over the weekend, Pugh was a key factor in helping the Spirit bounce back from Week 1, where they fell 2-1 to Seattle Reign FC. She recorded three shots on goal, and not only scored one of her own in the 80th minute, but also contributed on the Spirit’s second goal.
Pugh’s first goal of the season came from Ashley Hatch winning the ball in the air and directly heading it towards Pugh, who had time in space in the midfield. Pugh, doing what she does best, carried the ball with pace down the sideline. The Pride defense tried to keep up with Pugh, but she broke through and struck the ball in between Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris’ legs to make it 1-0.
Pugh set up the second goal in similar fashion just eight minutes later. She capitalized on a transition and managed to get in behind the Pride defense, serving a cross into the box. Pride defender Carson Pickett tried to clear it, but Hatch got on the end of the attempt, striking it one-time to seal the game at 2-0.
According to Opta, Pugh created two chances in the Spirit’s win over the Pride and recorded 55 total touches.
The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.