Spirit coach Kris Ward slams Segra Field as winless streak reaches 17

(Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Wednesday’s match between the Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns at Segra Field featured plenty of excitement: weather delays, an own goal and more.

The ending, though, looked very familiar: Another loss for the Washington, extending the team’s winless streak to 17 games. The Spirit last won in their regular-season opener on May 1.

After the 2-1 loss to Portland, Washington coach Kris Ward slammed his own team’s home field. The Spirit split time between Segra, a 5,000-seat stadium in Leesburg, Va., and Audi Field, a 20,000-seat stadium in Washington.

“It’s an abomination that a professional game has to be played on something like this,” he said of Segra Field, noting that it affects the players’ ability to accelerate and turn, as well as the speed of the ball movement.

Segra is the same field that NJ/NY Gotham FC goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris called out for being unprofessional and a “high school field” back in March.

“I hope we never have to play here again,” Ward continued.

Lightning delayed the start of Wednesday’s match, and chaos reigned as soon as it got underway.

Take the first goal of the game as an example: Bella Bixby, one of the best goalkeepers in the NWSL, stepped backward into her own net to give up an own goal and put the Spirit up 1-0.

While the Spirit eventually lost 2-1 off of goals from Christine Sinclair and Morgan Weaver, Ward wasn’t dismayed by the team’s response to Sinclair’s equalizer.

“It should’ve been three points,” he said. “There’s no two ways around it.

“Even after 1-1, I didn’t feel like the team was nervous. I felt like everything was okay and everything was in control and we were going to continue to create scoring opportunities, and we did, right up until the very end. … One mistake at one point in time loses the game.”

Even after Weaver scored in stoppage time, second-year Spirit forward Trinity Rodman continued to press for her team. Ward commended her perseverance on Twitter.

“If you watched the game tonight you witnessed a generational talent attempt to will her team to victory,” he wrote. “An absolute superhuman performance from Trinity Rodman. That was something special.”

The 20-year-old player even took the time after the match to ensure that everyone who stayed and waited was acknowledged in one way or another, providing a bright spot for the team and for fans despite the rain-soaked loss.