Washington Spirit opens NWSL with 1-1 draw

The Washington Spirit made its National Women’s Soccer League debut Sunday evening with a 1-1 draw against the Boston Breakers in Somerville, Mass.

Tiffany McCarty, The Post’s All-Met player of the year in fall 2007 at St. John’s High School, scored on a six-yard header in the 15th minute.

But U.S. national team forward Sydney Leroux scored the equalizer in second-half stoppage time, beating goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris with a 10-yard shot to the far corner.

The Spirit had several other quality scoring opportunities in the game, but Breakers goalkeeper Ashley Phillips tipped Diana Matheson‘s 30-yard bid off the crossbar and blocked Stephanie Ochs‘s point-blank shot.

A few minutes before Boston’s goal, Harris was injured in a collision with Leroux but, after being treated for several minutes, remained in the match.

The Spirit will play its home opener Saturday night against U.S. superstar Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Washington’s lineup at Boston:

Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris (U.S. national team).

Defenders: Ali Krieger (Forest Park High School, U.S. national team), Tori Huster (U.S. under-23 national team), Robyn Gayle (Canadian national team), Kika Toulouse (O’Connell High, University of Virginia).

Midfielders: Ingrid Wells (Georgetown, U.S. under-23 national team), Julia Roberts (Urbana High, U of Virginia), Lori Lindsey (U of Virginia, U.S. national team), Stephanie Ochs (U.S. under-23 national team).

Attacking midfielder/withdrawn forward: Diana Matheson (Canadian national team).

Forwards: Tiffany McCarty (St. John’s High School, Florida State).

Substitutions in second half: Domenica Hodak (U of Maryland) for Wells, Caroline Miller (Walter Johnson High, U of Virginia) for McCarty.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff | April 14, 2013