The NWSL leading Washington Spirit got back into the win column and remained udnefeated on the season with a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dash on a chilly, windy Saturday evening at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Joanna Lohmann scored the only goal and Stephanie Labbe earned her third consecutive shutout and fourth in five matches this season.
The goal came in the 39th minute as the product of some gorgeous buildup play that started with Labbe and went all the way up the pitch with a tilt to the right side. Christine Nairn and Ali Krieger played starring roles in the buildup along with Lohman and Diana Matheson. Nairn sneaked into a high position on an overlap and Krieger found her deep where Nairn was able to cross the ball for Lohman. The midfielder was open at the far post and easily headed the perfectly weighted ball by Lydia Williams.
Lohman’s goal was the only thing Williams would let get by her all night though not for lack of effort on the part of the Spirit. The Australian keeper made a strong saves on Crystal Dunn in the 73rd and 74th minutes and leaped high to tap Estafania Banini’s shot over the bar in the 86th.
The Spirit (4-0-1, 13 pts) will lead the table heading into next Saturday’s trip to Portland. The Dash (2-2-1, 7 pts) host Orlando in Friday night action.
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