Published Jul 1, 2022
Written By:  Samantha Patterson
             East Region Contributor

After a successful inaugural season in 2021, the Washington Dutch Lions entered this season to defend its Colonial Conference title and improve on its 6-1-1 record. With the WPSL postseason returning for 2022, this meant more was at stake to fulfill these goals.

With a strong performance out of the gate in its season opener, the Dutch Lions looked to pick up where it left off after an 8-0 win at home. Abigail Fusca’s hat-trick, Felisa Racinez’s brace, and three assists, plus a goal of her own, from Alex Taylor showcased the Lions’ talent we have come to expect.

Its second match, however, would prove to be a true test for the Dutch Lions.

With offseason realignments, the Colonial conference gained a new challenger that was sure to heighten the competition – Penn Fusion SA. The momentum from its first match wasn’t enough to defeat the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Conference Champions as the Dutch Lions fell to Penn Fusion on the road while giving up three goals.

The following week, Fusca was able to get the Lions back on track with another win at home against Philadelphia Lone Stars FC. Assisted by Ella McQueen, the one goal was all it took to earn the Lions the full three points.

Away matches proved to be the Lions’ biggest hurdle in its quest to defend its conference title as CAFC Ospreys gave the Lions its second loss on the road and for the season. Losing back-to-back road matches was a feat the defending champions weren’t accustomed to after only losing once in 2021. It proved to be a tough one to overcome as the Lions dropped three points again its next match as it faced Penn Fusion for the second time – this time at home.

While its second season has proved to be filled with hurdles, obstacles, and adversity, the Lions’ title defense and postseason hopes aren’t all but lost just yet. With two matches left in hand, the Lions must perform at their very best and earn all six points.