NWSL pre-season match round up week 1

Goals and debuts galore as NWSL opened the 2017 pre-season season this weekend.

NWSL pre-season match round up week 1
Vlatko Andonovski got FCKC off to a winning start in NWSL preseason(Photo: VAVEL/Brandon Farris)

Spirit strong in pre-season opener

The Washington Spirit dispatched the 2015 NCAA National Champions, Penn State University, 3-0 behind two goals from Kristie Mewis. The goals were Mewis’ first in a Washington jersey after joining the team in a trade with the Boston Breakers in November 2016. Katie Stengel contributed a goal and an assist in the victory.

The match, which was played in three 30-minute periods, was scoreless at the end of the first period. Washington broke through in the second period when rookie Arielle Ship was fouled in the box. Stengel took the penalty for the Spirit and put it away despite PSU goalkeeper Rose Chandler getting a glove to the ball.

Stengel got the assist on Washington’s second goal when she played Mewis into space in PSU’s attacking third. Mewis took a touch past her defender and chipped the ball beyond the goalkeeper, giving the Spirit a 2-0 lead in the 43rd minute. Mewis finished off the match 10 minutes later, firing a daisy-cutter from the top of the box into the lower right corner.

Scoring Summary: 3-0 (Stengel 34', Mewis 43' and 53')

Washington Spirit Lineup: 4- Shelina Zadorsky (31- Fran Garzelloni** 61′), 5 – Whitney Church, 6-Kassey Kallman (33-Tessa Gavilsky** 61′), 7 – Line Sigvardsen Jensen (29-Meggie Dougherty Howard* 31′ (39- Molly Menchel** 61′)), 12 – Katie Stengel (37- Crystal Thomas** 61′), 15-Joanna Lohman (19- Kristie Mewis 31′ (40-Gloria Douglas** 70′)), 16 – Cameron Castleberry** (2-Arielle Ship* 31′ (38-Marion Crowder** 70′)), 20 – Cheyna Williams (8- Lindsay Agnew*, 44′), 21 – DiDi Haracic (36-Kori Butterfield** 70′), 23 – Tori Huster (9- Havana Solaun 61′), 24 – Estelle Johnson (32-Lauren Lazo** 61′)

I-Returning Player

*-2017 Draftee

**-Trialist

Orlando opens second season strong

The Orlando Pride cruised over Stetson University 9-0. Jasmyne Spencer had two goals and Dani Weatherholt added three assists in a dominant performance by the Pride.

In the team’s match report, head coach Tom Sermanni said, “You’ve got to be very careful to not get carried away with preseason games, but I was pleased with the tempo we played at. I was pleased with the way we were able to mix up the teams and have good continuity between the players. And I was just generally pleased with how we went about doing our jobs on the field today.

Sermanni sent out a 3-back consisting of Laura Alleway, Ali Krieger, and Weatherholt in the first half. In return, the offense netted three goals, with Carol Rodrigues, who went unselected in the 2017 NWSL College Draft and was in camp as a trialist nabbing the first goal for the Pride. Chioma Ubogagu got her first goal for her new club in the 21st minute, and Camila scored a penalty kick in the 29th minute to finish the first half at 3-0.

Jazmyne Spencer (right) scored twice in the Pride's first preseason match (Photo: Getty/Alex Menendez)
Jazmyne Spencer (right) scored twice in the Pride's first preseason match (Photo: Getty/Alex Menendez)

The squad rotated at halftime with trialist Lorina White and returning defenders Toni Pressley and Cami Levin replacing the starting backline. The Pride poured on six goals in the second half and Christina Burkenroad, who had subbed on at halftime, picked up an assist hat-trick, feeding goals to Sarah Hagen in the 55th minute, Toni Pressley in the 66th, and Jasmyne Spencer in the 79th. Spencer scored a second in the 84th minute to finish the scoring at 9-0.

Scoring Summary: 9-0 (Rodrigues 6’, Ubogagu 21’, Camila (PK) 29’, Edmonds (PK) 53’, Hagen (Burkenroad) 55’, Tindell 63’, Pressley (Burkenroad) 66’, Spencer (Burkenroad) 79’, Spencer (Levin) 84’).

Starting XI: Harris; Alleway, Krieger, Weatherholt; Fields, M. Evans, Driesse*, D. Evans*, Camila; Ubogagu, Rodrigues**

Second Half XI: Bledsoe; White**, Pressley, Levin; Burkenroad, Blankenship**, Edmonds, O’Brien**; Spencer, Hagen, Tindell**

I-Returning Player

*-2017 Draftee

**-Trialist

FC Kansas City rolls Missouri

FC Kansas City got a brace from Brittany Taylor and goals from returning USWNT players Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux in a 7-0 blowout of the University of Missouri. It was the first goal for both players since 2015 as they were both unavailable for the 2016 season due to pregnancy.

Shea Groom opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Leroux got her goal, her first since May 15, 2015, in the 21st minute, and Taylor completed her double with goals in the 28th and 42nd minute. Katie Bowen closed out the first half with a 44th minute strike.

Two rookies, Christina Gibbons and Rashida Beal, got the start for the Blues. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski rotated the roster heavily for the second half, with Beal the only holdover from the first 45. Alexis Shaffer, FCKC's only remaining draft pick after Stephanie Ribeiro tore her ACL in December, entered the match at half-time. She was joined by trialists Toriana Patterson, Sydney Miramontez, Meghan Toohey, Josie Stiever, and Jenna Hellstrom, all of whom started the second half. Amy Rodriguez also subbed on at halftime and found the back of the net in the 78th minute. Hellstrom, who assisted Rodriguez’ goal, got one of her own in the 89th minute to close out the match 7-0. 

Scoring Summary: 7-0 (Groom 16’, Leroux 21’, Taylor 28’ and 42’, Bowen 44’, Rodriguez 78’, Hellstrom 89’)

Starting XI: Barnhart; Taylor, Beal*, Sauerbrunn, Gibbons*; Scott, LaBonta, Newfield; Leroux, Groom, Bowen

Second Half XI: Parkhill; Beal*, Patterson**, Miramontez**, Reed; Toohey**, Stiever**, Shaffer*, Hellstrom**; Tymrak, Rodriguez

I-Returning Player

*-2017 Draftee

**-Trialist

Dash off the mark in 2017

The Houston Dash started their 2017 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Baylor University. The Dash got goals from last season’s runner-up for the Golden Boot, Kealia Ohai, and rookie Amber Munerlyn.

Kealia Ohai (left) got the game-winner against Baylor (Photo: Getty/Rich Barnes)
Kealia Ohai (left) got the game-winner against Baylor (Photo: Getty/Rich Barnes)

After 44 scoreless minutes, Ohai put the Dash up 1-0, beating the Baylor goalkeeper with a low shot to the far corner. The Dash carried the lead into halftime, but were quick to double it after the break. Two second half substitutes, Nichelle Prince and Amber Munerlyn, combined in the 50th minute for the 2-0 lead. Prince sent a cross through the six yard box and Munerlyn was johnny-on-the-spot to to bury it first time.

Houston came close to a third in the 69th minute. Munerlyn found Janine Beckie at the edge of the box, but the Canadian international’s volley hit the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.

Scoring Summary: 2-0 (Ohai 44’, Munerlyn 50’)

Starting XI: Williams; Poliana, Benites, Van Wyk, Crosson**; Brooks; Andressa, Henderson; Ohai, Daly, Ochs

I-Returning Player

*-2017 Draftee

**-Trialist