As Saturday’s match between the Washington Spirit and the visiting Sky Blue FC entered stoppage time, the game was coming close to a scoreless draw. Spirit forward Francisca Ordega had other plans as she scored the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute, leading the Spirit to a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue.
Crystal Dunn chipped it over goalkeeper Brittany Cameron and Ordega ran onto it, finishing it into an empty net. It was the second stoppage time goal in the NWSL this Saturday, with Kristie Mewis scoring the game winner for the Boston Breakers a few hours prior.
Despite falling to the stoppage time goal, Sky Blue often looked the better team and had one of their best performances this season. Sky Blue outshot the Spirit, 21-9, after recording 36 shots in their previous five games. Nine of those shots for Sky Blue were on target compared to the Spirit’s three.
The offensive pressure started early for both teams, with three shots in the first six minutes. In the third minute, Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys saved a shot from Katy Freels after a bad giveaway in the penalty area. Three minutes later, Cameron punched away a Whitney Church header after the Spirit earned a free kick. Off the ensuing corner, Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman’s header hit the crossbar.
The game-winning goal almost didn’t happen as Ordega went down in the 15th minute after a tackle from Sky Blue defender Camille Levin, with an apparent ankle injury. The trainer was called onto the field, but Ordega was able to return to action five minutes later.
Wys made a diving save in the 33rd minute to keep her first professional clean sheet when she punched a shot from Nadia Nadim over the bar.
Sky Blue forward Maya Hayes appeared at outside back for the club tonight, and not only because the club isn’t at full strength on defense. After giving up a brace to Dunn in the club’s first meeting this year, Gabarra set the speedy Hayes to man-mark Dunn the entire game. This move did help limit Dunn’s play, but Dunn still recorded the assist on Ordega’s winning goal.
The win leaves the Spirit with ten points this season and in second place and Sky Blue in eighth place with five points.
Despite a thunderstorm that delayed kickoff by over half an hour, posted attendance was 3,095.
NEXT UP: Sky Blue faces the Boston Breakers (2-3) at Boston on Friday and the Spirit take on the Western New York Flash (1-3-1) Saturday in Rochester.
**This was Ordega’s last game with the Spirit before she departs for World Cup training with the Nigerian national team.
NWSL Match Report
Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit
May 16, 2015 – Maryland SoccerPlex – Boyds, Maryland
Goals by period
Sky Blue FC: 0 0 0
Washington: 0 1 1
WAS: Ordega (C.Dunn) – 92′
SBFC – Brittany Cameron, Kristin Grubka, Haley Haagsma, Lindsi Cutshall, Camille Levin, Katy Freels, Kim DeCesare (Theresa Diederich, 75), Taylor Lytle (Maruschka Waldus, 82), Shawna Gordon (Lo’eau LaBonta, 71), Maya Hayes, Nadia Nadim
WAS – Kelsey Wys, Estelle Johnson, Megan Oyster, Katherine Reynolds, Tori Huster, Whitney Church , Joanna Lohman (Laura del Rio, 46), Angela Salem (Amanda Da Costa, 82), Crystal Dunn, Christine Nairn, Francisca Ordega