Tag Archives: christine nairn

Late Goals in 2-0 Win over FC Kansas City Redeem Spirit Homestand

The Washington Spirit were 258 minutes into a 360-minute homestand. Given how rarely they lose at home, going into the series twelve standings points weren’t out of the question and any fewer than eight would be a serious disappointment.

This was also the first weekend without the Olympic-bound players, a period you would think the Spirit would be dominant given head coach Jim Gabarra’s claim that his team has the deepest bench in the league.

But here they were 78 minutes into a scoreless tie against a struggling FC Kansas City team likely ending up with a mere four points in three games with the toughest opponent yet to play.

Then came the 79th minute. Caprice Dydasco in only her second game of the season sent a long ball toward the right corner. Christine Nairn made a Matheson-esque run to get to the ball before it went out, then sent it to Dydasco near the top right corner of the box. She sent it into the box where Francisca Ordega tried a bicycle kick but went to the ground. The ball came to Joanna Lohman facing goal, but she tripped before she could do more than push the ball slightly toward goal. Kansas City’s Yael Averbuch tried to clear it but sent it right to Ordega, who quickly stepped to her right and sent it toward goal with her right foot, nutmegging a defender whose leg redirected it into the lower left corner, away from a lunging Nicole Barnhart.

It was a flukey goal, but it changed the complexion of the game, the homestand, and possibly the season.
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Spirit down defending champs in home opener, 3-1

Double goal-scorer Christine Nairn collects a throw-in from Alex Singer.

Double goal-scorer Christine Nairn collects a throw-in from Alex Singer.


The Washington Spirit won their season home opener for the first time in team history, downing the defending NWSL champion FC Kansas City, 3-1, on two goals from Christine Nairn and one from Crystal Dunn before a packed crowd of 4,136.
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NWSL Week in Review: Five Things (Week 2)

When you read an article like this in the New York Times of all places, the first reaction – understandably – is straight up anger. Because if you’re reading this, it’s highly likely you have a passion for women’s soccer, and when you see misinformation, or more importantly, half-truths, about a cause that is near and dear to your heart, it hurts. You know the history, you know how hard people have worked to make this version of women’s professional soccer in this country work, and that it’s going to take time to succeed in this culture.

As poorly written as it is, though (hey, New York Times, I can write in proper sentences if you want to hire me), it’s hard to discount completely the overall premise, which is that the NWSL – while far from desperate – faces an uphill struggle to become somewhere where the best women’s soccer players in the world can draw a decent salary to play the game professionally.

And the juxtaposition was striking on Saturday in Maryland as Washington and Kansas City played what I thought was the most entertaining NWSL game I’d seen in two seasons, not just with the goals and chances, but with the technical display of the players. There were a few defensive miscues and poor touches, sure, but some of the best soccer players in the world showed why they are.

At the end of the day, 2,577 came to see it. Should we care? Probably not as much as people say we should, but you wish people could see what you see. Maybe someday they will. Until then, we’ll just keep fighting the good fight, and watching the beautiful game.

Without further ado, five things we learned from the second weekend of the NWSL campaign:

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WPSL Elite: Ghosts Of WPS Past Still Haunt Paul Riley

Paul Riley runs his New York Fury team through warm-ups on Long Island last Thursday. The transition to WPSL Elite hasn't been as smooth as he would have liked this season.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The ASA in the name ASA Chesapeake Charge stands for Arundel Soccer Association, as in Arundel County, Maryland, home of Annapolis and site of The Battle of the Severn in 1655, an English Civil War battle fought here in America.

Sorry, I’m still a history teacher at heart.

The ASA is an extremely well run youth soccer organization in Maryland that in 2010 decided that – in order to give some of their older players a place to go while in college – they should join the WPSL. In just their second year, Albert Oni led them to the Eastern Conference finals (and in the process was named Coach of the Year).

With WPS disintegrating last winter, the WPSL was fairly desperate to fill its newly formed Elite league, which had former WPS squads Boston, Chicago, and Western New York, a Paul Riley team, and not much else. To their credit, knowing full well that they were giving up the chance at winning any kind of title, Arundel Soccer Association threw its hat into the ring, and the Chesapeake Charge were in the same league as the aforementioned Mr. Riley.

Which leads us to last Thursday night at Hofstra when the Charge hopped in their bus and drove the six hours to Hofstra to take on Riley and the New York Fury.  For the second time this season, a travel snafu meant a Fury home game was starting late, although this was only 20 minutes compared to the 90 against Philadelphia.

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WPSL Elite Review: Some Teams Just Dreaming Of Having A Full Squad

The WPSL Elite deserves to be cut some slack this season. It was hastily thrown together, yet was able to give us eight teams and a 14-game schedule on very, very short notice. And so, I can understand when everything was thrown into the blender that  four teams that basically came out as “professional”: Western New York, Chicago, Boston, and New York; and the other four: New England, Chesapeake, Philadelphia, and Indiana as basically “amateur” sides.

It’s obviously better than having no league at all, which was the very real alternative. In a way, it set up those “other” four teams in the underdog role.You knew right off the bat, it was going to be tough when I went to New England’s opener and they were hammered by New York, 5-1. But that was alright, there were reinforcements on the way for the Mutiny that at the very least would make things exciting in the coming months.

While Shek Borkowski’s Haitian experiment in Indiana was interesting and noble, there were three players on the “amateur” squads that I had a particular interest in seeing this spring and summer: Kristie Mewis and Morgan Andrews – both of New England – and Christine Nairn of Chesapeake. None of them is older than 21, and while there are many obstacles (and players) in their way, it’s at least possible that could be your trio in the midfield when the United States plays in the 2019 World Cup (In Japan?). Nairn and Mewis certainly have a shot you’d think to be on the 2015 Canada roster as well. So the chance to see them against “professional” competition was a fortunate consequence out of the unfortunate WPS collapse.

Regrettably, as we approach the midpoint of the WPSL Elite campaign that trio has combined to play a total of two matches: Nairn played her team’s opener against Boston and Andrews played last week against Philadelphia.

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