Ordega, Labbé Lift Spirit Past Sky Blue in 4-3 Win

Francisca Ordega of the Washington Spirit by Tony Quinn.
Tony Quinn/Washington Spirit

The Washington Spirit picked up its first win with a 4-3 win over Sky Blue FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland. The Spirit improve to 1-2-1 on the National Women’s Soccer League Season (NWSL) while Sky Blue drops its second match of the season and sits at 1-2-1.

Spirit goalkeeper Steph Labbé was called into action early, making a kick save in the 2nd minute to deny Sam Kerr.

Washington scored first, however. In the 6th minute Francisca Ordega slotted a left-footed shot to the far post on a through ball from Line Sigvardsen Jensen to put the Spirit up, 1-0. Ordega would prove to be a handful for Sky Blue all match.

Sky Blue FC countered in the 12th minute when Kelley O’Hara put away a shot off a Steph Labbé rebound that fell to her inside the box.

Ordega was at it again in the 26th minute when she made a run into the box and muscled off the Sky Blue defender to send a ball across the box to avoid an oncoming Kailen Sheridan off her line. Sky Blue defender got a foot on it but unfortunately it was to direct the ball into the back of the net for an own goal. Spirit regained the lead, 2-1.

In the 34th minute, Ordega sent a definitive through ball that split the Sky Blue central defense to Havana Solaun making a run up the left-hand side and sending the midfield in alone on goal. Solaun curled in a right-footed shot far post to put the Spirit up, 3-1.

Labbé made a save in the 42nd minute, again denying Kerr by tipping her shot over the crossbar, to keep the Spirit’s lead at two going into halftime.

Sky Blue opened up the second half with more more pressure and were almost rewarded in the 47th minute when Kerr headed a cross in from the right past Labbé but the play was called offside. Sky Blue would not be denied in the 50th minute, however, after O’Hara found a wide-open Sarah Killion making a run into the box from the right side. Killion cooly slotted her right-footed shot far post to cut the lead to one. 3-2 for Washington.

The Spirit found its fourth goal in the 56th minute. It was Solaun who returned the favor to Ordega, finding her on a slant pass between the center back and right back to put Ordega through to goal. Sky Blue goalkeeper Sheridan challenged but Ordega reached the ball first and caught up to the long touch to find the back of the net. Washington up, 4-2.

Kasey Kallman was called for a foul in the box in the 70th minute to give Sky Blue a chance from the spot. Killion converted to again cut Sky Blue’s deficit to one, 3-4.

In the 75th minute, defender Estelle Johnson cleared a smart defensive play to keep the Spirit’s lead.

Labbé made six saves on the night, including a stop in the 94th minute to deny a well-placed O’Hara free kick and preserve the win for the Spirit.

Forward Cheyna Williams returned to action and played limited minutes since suffering an injury in the first game of the season. Cameron Castleberry made her professional debut, coming in in the 65th minute. The Spirit drafted Castleberry at No. 36 in the 2017 NWSL College Draft.

Sky Blue was without Christie Pearce, still recovering from a concussion, as well as Raquel Rodriguez and Daphne Corboz. Rodriguez was attending her graduation from Penn State while Corboz was in England taking medical school exams.

The Spirit improved to 1-2-1 on the season while Sky Blue fell to 1-2-1.

Both teams travel next week: Washington heads to Seattle to face the Reign and Sky Blue will be in Houston to meet the Dash in the Lifetime Game of the Week.

Attendance: 3,190


Washington Spirit
1-Stephanie Labbé; 4-Shelina Zadorsky; 5-Whitney Church; 24-Estelle Johnson; 6-Kassey Kallman; 7-Line Sigvardsen Jensen (20-Cheyna Williams, 79′); 23-Tori Huster; 9-Havana Solaun; 29-Meggie Dougherty Howard; 2-Arielle Ship (16-Cameron Castleberry, 65′) 14-Francisca Ordega (8-Lindsay Agnew, 91′)

Sky Blue FC
1-Kailen Sheridan; 33-Erin Simon; 8-Erica Skroski; 22-Mandy Freeman; 15-Kayla Mills: 21-Leah Galton (5-Maya Hayes, 87′); 7-Nikki Stanton (73-Madison Tiernan, 62′); 16-Sarah Killion; 6-Taylor Lytle (2-McKenzie Meehan, 69′); 20-Samantha Kerr; 19-Kelley O’Hara


Washington Spirit

Yellow Cards:
Cheyna Williams, 87′

Sky Blue FC

Yellow Cards:
Erin Simon, 39′