Tag Archives: W-League

DC-area W-League: The 2015 Season Begins

Summary

Thursday, May 28: Braddock Road U-20s 1, Washington Spirit Academy 0.
Saturday, May 30: Washington Spirit Reserves 2, Atlanta Silverbacks Women 2.
Sunday, May 31: Atlanta Silverbacks Women 7, Braddock Road Stars Elite 0.

Olivia Fiegel's game-winning shot goes in against the Washington Spirit Academy.

Olivia Fiegel’s game-winning shot goes in against the Washington Spirit Academy.

Braddock Road U-20s starting off on the right foot

My first amateur game of the season was actually a W-League U-20 (“W-20”) match between the Braddock Road Stars Elite and the Washington Spirit Academy on Field 14 at the Maryland Soccerplex. This was the second match of the season for Braddock Road, who had already downed the Northern Virginia Majestics, 2-0, and the first for Washington. Looking at the rosters, it seemed a bit of a mismatch. Braddock Road’s players were almost entirely the teenagers from their W-League team, while the Spirit’s roster had no W-Leaguers at all. That the result was 1-0 in favor of Braddock Road – on a first half goal by Olivia Fiegel – was no great surprise.
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W-League: DC-area team preview 2015

Why follow the W-League? “This is where it all starts,” says Kristen Meier, former professional player for the Seattle Reign and currently captain of the Braddock Road Stars Elite. “You’re watching the World Cup, come out here and see the stepping stones to getting there. We have players who hopefully in four, eight, twelve years will be on that team.”

Given the talent on the local teams, it seems like a good bet. Washington has eight players with youth national team experience, most notably Andi Sullivan, who captained the US team in last year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup. And Braddock Road already has five – including three of Sullivan’s 2014 teammates – with even more up-and-coming young players on the bubble.

So if you come out to see the Stars Elite play the Spirit Reserves (and you have three matches to choose from), you’ve got a pretty good chance of seeing the next Ali Krieger, Lori Lindsey, or Becky Sauerbrunn – all of whom honed their skills on local W-League teams long before getting called up to the national team.
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MWSJA Maryland Club Players of the Week

Maryland Club Player of the Week Didi Haracic takes a goal kick during Saturday's warmup


The Maryland Women’s Soccer Journalists Association* is pleased to announce its first-ever selections for Maryland Club Players of the Week.** We considered selecting an entire starting lineup, but that seemed a bit overdone. On the other hand, selecting just one player seemed inadequate, not to mention that it doesn’t give us much to write about. So we split the difference and picked one player in each category of position from the three top-level club teams based in Maryland. (If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s the ASA Chesapeake Charge, the DC United Women, and the Maryland Capitols.) And here they are:

Goalkeeper of the Week: Didi Haracic, DC United Women. A sophomore at Loyola, Haracic in her coach’s word had a “phenomenal” performance against the Boston Breakers Saturday night, stopping numerous shots and keeping the game within reach for her team throughout.

Defender of the Week: Remi Kriz, Maryland Capitols. Kriz, a Maryland senior, was the core of a defense that turned away numerous Chesapeake Charge chances and was the most active player on a strong back line.

Midfielder of the Week: Christine Nairn, ASA Chesapeake Charge. Despite having joined the team only a few days earlier, the Penn State junior was consistently the most dangerous attacking player for the Charge in their match against Boston. Meanwhile, a special honorable mention goes to Joanna Lohman of the DC United Women, who was a major force for her team despite having been on a different continent 48 hours prior to the match and having no opportunity to practice with her teammates before the game.

Forward of the Week: Alexis Prior-Brown, ASA Chesapeake Charge. Prior-Brown, a Mercy High School senior (!), gets the nod this week as the only player on any of the three teams who managed to score a goal during one of these early-season games.

Player of the Week: Didi Haracic. Not just the “best player on the field” Saturday night, as Joanna Lohman described her, but the best Maryland player in all three matches.

*Currently Jennifer Gordon of The Equalizer and me, but we’re still recruiting.
**Actually slightly more than a week. So sue us.