Washington Spirit forward Arielle Ship, thanks to a one goal/two assist performance against Sky Blue FC, was named the NWSL Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association. Ship’s play was instrumental in Washington overturning a 1-0 halftime deficit, allowing the Spirit to come away 4-1 winners. Ship scored the first goal of her pro career to tie the game early in the second half before coming up with assists on Washington’s second and third goals.
Ship joins Francisca Ordega on the list of Spirit players to get a Player of the Week nod this season. Ironically enough, both players did so after being involved with three goals in wins over Sky Blue. Ship’s goal - which involved a glorious first touch to round USWNT legend Christie Pearce before a powerful strike past Kailen Sheridan - was nominated for Goal of the Week. It did not win because democracy has major flaws:
With Ordega still out for at least three weeks due to knee surgery, Ship’s breakout performance is important for her and for the Spirit. The Cal product has shown some flashes of quality this season, and the fact that Jim Gabarra was willing to trade Katie Stengel was at least in part a statement of confidence in the rookie.
Ship and the Spirit will look to follow up on what is hopefully a season-changing win tonight, as they kick off against the Orlando Pride in just a few hours.