Spirit Split Points with Royals After Weather Delay
Boyds, Md. - A relentless Washington Spirit team was unable to convert a first-half surge of offense as they drew the Utah Royals 0-0 at the Maryland SoccerPlex late Wednesday night.
A crowd of 2,430 dedicated fans bore the rain to support their team. The game was delayed due to inclement weather in the second minute of play and resumed two hours later.
The two-hour delay was evident as both teams began the resumption of play leisurely on a soggy pitch. Washington quickly picked up the pace in the fourth minute when Ashley Hatch stole a Royals pass and took a few dribbles before curling a shot towards the top of the net, but Nicole Barnhart was able to block the shot.
From that point on, the Spirit controlled the tempo of the first half as they applied constant pressure to Utah's half of the field.
Elise Kellond-Knight was given a yellow card in the 5th minute for obstructing a Royals player streaking down the field. After the foul, the Spirit resumed their pressure earning a corner kick in the 9th minute, but were unable to convert.
Throughout the rest of the half, the Spirit produced multiple chances including a cross into the box from Kellond-Knight to Paige Nielsen, but her shot sailed over the net in the 43rd minute.
The Royals shifted gears in the second half as they began to create more chances offensively.
Washington relied on Aubrey Bledsoe in the 53rd minute as Royals forward Christen Press had a breakaway into the box and blasted a shot towards Bledsoe. The reliable Spirit goalkeeper blocked Press' shot and went on to immediately save two consecutive Utah shots as the defense was unable to clear the pressure.
Despite creating 12 shots from inside the box and eight corner kicks, the Spirit were again unable to get their first victory since July 24. The draw keeps Washington in 7th place as they continue to return to their early-season form.
The Spirit will continue its homestand by heading to Washington, D.C. to play against the Orlando Pride at Audi Field on Saturday, Aug. 24. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and the action can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs Utah Royals FC
Date: August 21, 2019
Venue: Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, mid-70s
Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 0 0
Utah 0 0 0
WAS (4-4-2): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 23-Tori Huster; 14-Paige Nielsen; 3-Sam Staab; 28-Elise Kellond-Knight;(19-Dorian Bailey 63'); 6-Chloe Logarzo;(20-Cheyna Matthews 63'); 8-Meggie Doughtery-Howard; 4-Jordan DiBiasi; 12-Andi Sullivan; 33-Ashley Hatch; 31-Crystal Thomas;(13-Bayley Feist 86')
Unused Substitutes: 30-Shae Yanez; 2-Ari Ship; 17-Cali Farquhason; 7-Amy Harrison
Utah(3-4-3): 18- Nicole Barnhart; 2-Rachel Corsie; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn; 6-Katie Bowen; 8-Amy Rodriguez; 9-Lo'eu Labonta;(24-Katie Stengal 81'); 11-Desiree Scott; 20-Mallory Weber; 21-Veronica Boquete; 23-Christen Press; 66-Gunny Jonsdottir
Unused Substitutes: 1-Abby Smith; 13-Makenzy Doniak; 14-Gaby Vincent; 15-Erika Tymrak; 17-Sydney Miramontez; 22-Madeline Nolf;
Stats Summary: WAS / Utah
Shots: 18 / 7
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Blocked Shots: 7 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 0 / 2
WAS - Elise Kellond-Knight 5' - Yellow Card
Utah - Christen Press 50' - Yellow Card
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr
Assistant Referee 1: Katarrzyne Wasiak
Assistant Referee 2: Amilcar Sicaju
Fourth Official: Meghan Mullen
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