BOYDS, Md. — Duke University held the Washington Spirit to a 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon. While the Spirit’s ranks were strengthened by the addition of their allocated international players, the lack of continuity made it difficult for the Spirit to hold possession.
“We just didn’t hold on to the ball well and that was the disappointing part,” Spirit coach Mike Jorden said after the game. “That was one of the things we wanted to focus on was keeping the ball better and we gave it away way too much.”
The Spirit started the game in a 4-3-3 formation with Ochs, McCarty and Miller up top. This formation proved ineffective against the Blue Devils. Washington went to a two-forward formation in the second half and started pressing Duke to create more chances. Without much opportunity to work on set pieces, the Spirit were unable to capitalize.
“There will be a ton of details we’ll go through and hash out before opening day,” midfielder Lori Lindsey said after the game. “I’d think rather than getting results, (we’d rather) figure out some areas we need to improve upon and go from there.”
Duke proved to be a worthy preseason opponent for the Spirit. In particular, Duke’s Kim DeCesare had an excellent match. The speedster created several dangerous chances for the Blue Devils including a long range shot in the 19th minute that went just over the crossbar.
In the final minutes of the game, both teams kicked up the intensity which resulted in some of the best chances of the match. In the 83rd minute, poor communication in the back led to an excellent chance for Duke. Luckily for the Spirit, keeper Chantel Jones made an excellent save and pushed the well placed shot over the net.
The Spirit also had an opportunity to notch the game winner late. In the final minute of stoppage time, Canadian international Diana Matheson played the ball into front of the goal for Megan Mischler, but her shot went wide left. The shot was the final offensive opportunity of the match.
As the team’s internationals will be unavailable for the final three preseason match, the remaining Spirit trialists should get plenty of opportunities to make their cases for the final roster. The Spirit will face the reigning NCAA champions North Carolina on Saturday.
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