Utah Royals FC were on the road once again this week. This time against the Washington Spirit. The only change made to the lineup from the last three games was swapping out Katie Stengel for Gunny Jonsdottir.
This match ended just about as soon as it got started. The teams warmed up and kicked off just to have a weather delay called in the second minute sending us to a lightning-induced game delay.
After the weather delay, Ashley Hatch quickly got a beautiful shot, but thanks to Nicole Barnhart, the game would remain level.
Following Washington’s chance, Amy Rodriguez went on the breakaway, forcing Elise Kellond-Knight of Washington to foul and ultimately get a yellow.
Washington dominated early in this second half. They had 2 shots in just the first 17 minutes.
Things settled down around the 30 minute mark, and both teams were finding their fair share of the ball again. Regardless though, the match felt disjointed in the first half. Neither team was able to find a rhythm or any truly successful possession.
In the final 15 of the half, the teams continued to struggle to find meaningful possession. Washington still dominated, able to get 8 shots compared to Utah’s zero, but only one of those 8 was on goal.
Coming out of the half, Washington got another great look that was headed upper 90, but once again, Barnhart made a huge save to send it out for a corner. Christen Press was also shown yellow in the 59th minute for a tackle on Ashley Hatch.
It would take Utah until the 53 minute to truly get a good look at goal. Thanks to some beautiful work by Press, she got a few shots off, Aubrey Bledsoe’s heroics kept this one level. From there, things were calm once again.
The first sub would be made by Spirit in the 63’ to bring off Kellond-Knight for Dorian Bailey. The majority of the second half was incredibly uneventful. The defenses of these teams really came to play, but there was little to no attacking creativity.
In the 74th minute, Cheyna Matthews was subbed off for Chloe Logarzo.
Rodriguez had an open shot in the 78th minute but was unable to capitalize, leaving the game still 0-0. Rodriguez’ attempt seemed to wake something up in Utah as Press got another good look just seconds later.
In the 80th minutes, Laura Harvey made her first sub to bring on Katie Stengel for Lo’eau LaBonta. A few minutes later, Washington made another sub to bring on Bayley Feist for Crystal Elaine Thomas.
Washington got a few set piece opportunities late in the match, though nothing too dangerous. Utah also had a good look right at the end that was just too far for anyone to get a touch on. This match would end a scoreless draw three and a half hours after it started.
Utah Royals next match will be September 6th back at home versus the Portland Thorns.