ROCKVILLE – The Washington Spirit maintained its spot atop the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) despite being held to a scoreless draw against the visiting Houston Dash on June 22 in front 2,367 fans at the inaugural Pride Night at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Spirit (5-1-3, 18 points) led every offensive statistic in their match including shots (12), shots on target (2), corner kicks (14), total passes (561) and possession (64.3%) but was unable to find the back of the goal net.
Washington saw their first opportunity on goal in the 31st minute when rookie midfielder Bayley Feist sent a pass through the Dash defense to a sliding Ashley Hatch (bottom left). The striker was unable to control the ball as it bounced off her left cleat and landed into the arms of goalkeeper Jane Campbell.
Two minutes after halftime, Hatch would have another shot at a goal after receiving a pass and cutting through the middle of the Houston defense. She released a shot outside the penalty area but the ball sailed over the crossbar. Moments later, Feist attempted a similar run but her shot was too far left of Campbell, bouncing off the advertising boards.
Washington continued assaulting Houston’s goal with ease. Captain Andi Sullivan sent in a cross to an open Hatch for an open opportunity. However, the Gilbert, Arizona native’s header skimmed by the far post and out of bounds, missing another goal scoring opportunity for the Spirit. Hatch remains the team’s leading scorer with three goals so far this season.
Defender Megan Crosson, who played with Houston last season, had a chance in the 78th minute when she out dribbled Satara Murray and released a left-footed shot towards goal. However, Campbell made a diving save to secure the draw for the Dash (3-2-4, 13 points).
“We have been doing well but we need to get to that next level,” Sullivan said. “I think we have it in us and I think we are on the edge of it so look out.”