Spirit Reserves Capture Colonial Crown with 6-0 Win
The 6-0 final scoreline was not a shock, particularly considering that the Washington Spirit Reserves had plenty of subs, while the Richmond Kickers showed up with 11 players and no goalkeeper. (Or, as @jstats tweeted at me, “if they have 11 they have a goalie…that person just doesn’t know it yet”.) And that was with the start being delayed 25 minutes to allow the visitors time to show up.
That being said, it seemed anything but inevitable for the first 45 minutes. Despite having Ashley Herndon (James Madison), Imani Dorsey (Duke), Meggie Dougherty Howard (Florida), and Yanara Aedo (Colo-Colo) on the pitch, the first half seemed more like a game of keep-away: the Reserves had much the better of possession but had nothing to show for it. The best chance of the first 40 minutes was a 6th-minute shot by Wake Forest’s Maddie Huster from about 30 yards out that went off the top of the crossbar.
Richmond suffered further misfortune as their #2 went down in the 38th minute after tangling legs with a Spirit player. She was diagnosed with a bad ankle sprain and missed the rest of the match, so the Strikers were down to ten players.
Quite possibly as a result, the Reserves got two decent chances late in the half. In the 41st minute, Dorsey received a nice cross just inside the top of the 18 but sent it right to the goalkeeper. In the next minute, Dougherty Howard took a shot from about 20 out but sent it high.
Assistant coach JP Sousa was not happy at halftime. “We started off very flat. That was a boring first 45 minutes, very uninspiring. We were just a little bit lazy around the ball, let things happen. We were happy to keep it, but we didn’t do anything positive with it in their half of the field.” Continue reading →
Annaugh Madsen defends against up-and-coming Charge forward Bridgette Andrzejewski. (Photo by Ken L. Harriford.)
Both sides were shorthanded in this late-season, mid-week WPSL match. The Spirit Academy were missing eight players, including all their U-20 national teamers. One of their assistant coaches suited up and played at least a third of the game. The ASA Charge started the match with ten players (the eleventh got stuck in traffic and was taking her earrings off on the sideline), and that was with their operations manager’s teenage daughter playing forward. Continue reading →
(Why no Week 4 recap? Because none of the DC-area teams had home games that week.)
It’s a little hard to figure out where things stand since the WPSL has yet to update the schedule or standings even for games played over a week ago, but it’s pretty clear that the Spirit Academy and Spirit Reserves are the cream of the Colonial Division. Meanwhile, the ASA Chesapeake Charge, once the best of the mid-Atlantic WPSL teams, is in the bottom half of the standings. And this weekend, they played both Spirit teams in quick succession. Continue reading →
The Charge were supposed to kick off their 2016 season on Saturday, May 21, by hosting the Richmond Strikers, but that match was called off due to the weather.
Instead, on an unseasonably cool Tuesday evening, they hosted Virginia Beach at Arundel High School’s Carroll Field.
Chesapeake have lost some key players after several years of being a WPSL powerhouse, including forwards Laura Kane, Maria Kresge, and Cheyenne Skidmore; defender Jennifer Gillette; and goalkeepers Lyndse Hokanson and Erin Quinn. In fact, on this evening despite being the home team they had just twelve players. As a result, while they still play quality soccer they’re no longer quite so formidable.
As for the visitors, when the Virginia Beach Piranhas played in the W-League (before they folded after the 2013 season), they were notorious for their physical play. With a head coach (John Germanos) and assistant coach (the legendary Mercy Akide-Udoh) who coached and played for the Piranhas, respectively, it’s no surprise that this team is similar. This game featured numerous fouls, complaints from both benches about uncalled fouls, and at least three yellow cards. Continue reading →
It’s a different landscape for elite women’s soccer in the DC-area this year. With the folding of the W-League, the Spirit Reserves and the Braddock Road Stars Elite (now the Washington Spirit Academy) have come over to the Women’s Premier Soccer League to help form the Colonial Division along with perennial WPSL powerhouse ASA Chesapeake Charge. This means that the Charge and the Spirit teams – long separated by the lack of love between the W-League and the WPSL – will finally play each other for the first time ever, and in home-and-home series. That’s certainly something I’m looking forward to.
The remaining teams in the division are Fredericksburg FC, the Richmond Strikers, and Virginia Beach City FC, but I’m just going to look at the aforementioned ones that I’ve been following. Continue reading →
Back in the spring and summer of 2012, the Chesapeake Charge faced the likes of the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, and Western New York Flash with a roster that included five players who had yet to attend their high school senior prom at the start of the season. Three of those players – Riley Barger, Alexis Prior-Brown, and Ashley Spivey – had signed with Maryland.
It’s now coming up on four years later. Spivey transferred to Central Florida, and Prior-Brown, plagued by injuries, has used up only one year of her NCAA eligibility despite being in her fourth year of schooling. Barger, though, is one of a bumper crop of seniors who have defined an era at Maryland. She and seven others were honored this evening. The most notable names are Canadian Rachelle Beanlands , who has set Maryland records for games started and played by a goalkeeper, and defender Shannon Collins, who has started every game for Maryland (78 so far) since she joined the program. The rest: defenders Amanda Gerlitz and Kayla Shea, and midfielders Erika Joab, Maisie McCune, and Sarah Molina.
Unfortunately, it was a typical night for Maryland: the defense held out against a strong attack, but the offense was nowhere to be found. Wisconsin earned a corner kick in the 81st minute. Kinley McNicoll sent it into the goalmouth, where McKenna Meuer headed it down to Micaela Powers, who put it away. The single goal was all the Badgers needed to clinch a share of the Big Ten championship. Continue reading →
Coming into this Tuesday evening match (July 7) I didn’t hold out much hope for ACF Torino. So far in the season they were 0-2-3 against the 3 new teams of the South Atlantic Division. Meanwhile, the Charge were an undefeated 6-0-0 against those same teams, with most wins by 3 goals or more. Continue reading →
Due to a combination of a bad cold followed by an ear infection along with spending lots of time watching the Women’s World Cup, I’ve scarcely posted any updates on how the DC-area amateur teams have been doing this summer. So this post is going to cover a lot of territory.
Washington Spirit Reserves
Following the previously reported disappointing 2-2 draw at home against the Atlanta Silverbacks, the Reserves got back on track with a 7-0 demolition of the Braddock Road Stars Elite, also at home.
They then faced the most challenging part of their season, with 3 away games in 4 days against the teams at the heart of the Southeastern Conference. That ended up more like Sherman marching through Georgia, with Washington notching wins in all 3 matches. On Friday, June 12, they downed the Charlotte Lady Eagles, 3-2, with 2 goals from Midge Purce and 1 from Imani Dorsey. On Saturday, Atlanta proved to be no obstacle with the Reserves getting 4 goals from 4 different players enroute to a 4-0 victory. The trip concluded with a 2-1 win on Monday over the Carolina Elite Cobras. Continue reading →
Cheyenne Skidmore scores the game-winning goal in the Charge’s home opener (photo courtesy of Ken L. Harriford).
In addition to our two local W-League teams, one in northern Virginia, the other northwest of DC, there are two local WPSL teams, both based east of DC, the Anne Arundel County based Chesapeake Charge, and the Prince George’s County based ACF Torino.
In contrast with the W-League, the WPSL is exploding. It’s expanded to 82 teams this year from 72 last year and includes at least 4 teams affiliated with professional NWSL teams. (The Spirit Reserves are the only W-League team associated with an NWSL team.) It’s reportedly the largest women’s league in the world.
The downside from a journalistic perspective is that the WPSL is comparatively lackadaisical about providing information. I know all about the W-League playoffs. All I know about the WPSL playoffs is that just one team from the South Atlantic Division will qualify, the conference finals will take place in New England the weekend of July 18, and the league finals will take place in Houston the weekend of July 25. But just try to find any of that information on the WPSL website.
South Atlantic Division
The South Atlantic Division is living more up to its name than in previous years, when it included teams from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This year it has five teams from Maryland and Virginia. The Maryland teams are familiar, ACF Torino and the ASA Chesapeake Charge, while the Virginia teams are all new: Chesterfield United (south of Richmond), Fredericksburg FC, and Virginia Beach City FC. Torino assistant coach and midfielder Elise Bender is happy with the smaller geographic footprint. “Thank goodness, we’re just Virginia and Maryland. The farthest game for us is Virginia Beach, so that’s not so bad.” Continue reading →