The Spirit signed recent UCLA graduate Karina Rodriguez to a one-year contract with a one-year team option. The defender has previously played for the U.S. U-20 national team, but most recently appeared for the Mexican Women’s National Team. The Spirit are also expected to return their final Olympians for Sunday’s match, including U.S Women’s National Team bronze medalists Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett.
The Washington Spirit are coming off a 2-2 draw against the Dash in Houston this past Friday. The Spirit struck first with Paige Nelson finding the back of the net in the eighth minute and Tori Huster doubled the lead in the 53rd. The Dash were able to score a pair to level the match, forcing the Spirit to walk away with a point.
Ashley Hatch, named Player of the Month for August, currently leads the Spirit in goals scored with six on the season and rookie Trinity Rodman is close behind with four. Andi Sullivan currently has three assists on the season, the most for a Spirit player, and Huster, Rodman and Tara McKeown all sit tied for second on the squad with two apiece.
This season the Pride have faced Washington twice with both matches ending in a 1-1 draw. In the teams’ first matchup, Ashley Hatch opened the scoring late in the second half for the Spirit, but Alex Morgan was able to find an equalizer in the 84th minute to secure the point. In their most recent meeting on June 6, Hatch opened the scoring once again but only to have Taylor Kornieck score her first goal of the season in what would equalize the sides for the second-straight game.
Rasmussen Fun Fact
The Pride are currently riding a three-game unbeaten streak under interim Head Coach Becky Burleigh, with a win and a pair of draws in the side’s last trio of contests. Two of those results have come against the pair of sides currently sitting atop the league, in the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage. The five-point start marks the best from any coach in Pride history.