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Lauletta: On Mal Pugh, the absence of Marta, and what is a handball anyway

Mallory Pugh was the youngest player on the field Saturday. She was also quite possibly the best (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

After nearly 80 minutes of stalemate soccer during which the Spirit and Pride poked and prodded each other without either being able to find a goal, the youngest player on the pitch took matters into her own hands and scored the match-winner. Mallory Pugh then played a role in creating the second goal. It was the Spirit’s first win over the season and the Pride’s first regular-season loss since July. Here are some thoughts:

Spirit’s youth movement in full force
That youngest player on the field is of course Mallory Pugh. Now 19, her arrival in Washington last May did not yield many positive results last season, but it was a much-needed shot of good news for a club that had torn apart its core and was still reeling from a major social misread by its owner. Acquiring Pugh, when almost everyone thought she would wind up in Portland…

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