The Takeaway: 

  • Stronger Start, Same Result- One of the noticeable aspects to previous games the Spirit have played this season, has been their slower intensity level compared to the teams they were playing. Despite the outcome of this match, they started off with great offensive momentum and held control much longer than they did in previous games. Nonetheless, this match did end in a draw, so it feels like one step forward, two steps back.

Box Score: 1-1

Regular Season – Game #10

First Half – 

The Washington Spirit’s Pride Night game against Racing Louisville started with a faster pace from the Spirit, compared to what they were playing the last few games. Louisville gets offensive control early, with Davis ripping a shot at the 2nd minute, but the ball going up and above the crossbar. Soon after Hatch gets the ball, with a long pass to Rodman, she’s the sole Spirit player in Louisville territory, and cuts inside, sending the ball into Louisville’s net. Rodman scored in the 3rd minute, this being her 4th goal of the season and this being her 50th NWSL appearance of her career. 

At the 15th minute Sanchez, and Louisville’s Lester collided, both going down and both slow to get up, but both ultimately fine. Not long after the collision, Metayer sends a pass to Rodman, Rodman loses a defender, turns to take a shot but the ball is deflected. McKeown is there to get the rebound, she takes a shot and the ball goes right off the crossbar. 

The momentum stays in the Spirit’s favor, with their persistent defending, and cleaner offensive passes in this opening half. Rodman gets the ball, the sole Spirit player near Louisville’s goal, shoots and scores but doesn’t celebrate, assuming the shot is offsides. As she (and the crowd) waited, it’s confirmed by the referees, the shot was offside, the game remained 1-0.

Early in this match, the Spirit looked significantly smoother, calmer, than they did last game, with better passes and fewer turnovers in the opening half. The half ended after 5 minutes of stoppage time, the Spirit with clear control with the game 1-0 in their favor.

Second Half –

Early in the second half, Louisville’s Borges goes down, with a foul from Metayer. After the referees looked at VAR to confirm, Louisville was awarded a penalty, with DeMelo taking the kick for her team. DeMelo with a shot, sends it right by Kingsbury, tying the game at 1-1 at the 51st minute. Soon after the Louisville goal, their captain Howell sends a strong, straight shot on goal, but it’s caught by Kingsbury. McKeown is pressured as the momentum shifts in Louisville’s favor after their goal. 

Louisville made a few substitutions at the 76th minute, one of those players being Pikkujämsä, who got a red card for fouling Rodman, only 1 minute and 49 seconds after being subbed on. The Spirit sets up, as Staab lines up for the kick, it’s deflected. Sullivan soon after, with a shot, fast and high above the top of the net. 

With a long ball to Rodman, she collides with a Louisville player and doesn’t get up for a while. During this time, 9 minutes of stoppage time gets added as the crowd as Audi Field falls silent waiting to see if Rodman will get up. Near the 90+3 minute of the match, Rodman slowly gets up, with the entire stadium cheering for her. The Spirit’s youngest player, Ricketts comes on at this time, sporting a cast on her left arm but not lacking any fearlessness that can be associated with her style of play. Despite the team’s last minute efforts, the Spirit ended another match in a draw, tied 1-1.

Washington Spirit Goals – Rodman 3’

Racing Louisville Goals – DeMelo 51’


Washington (433)

(C)Kingsbury; Carle, Staab, McKeown, Bailey; Sheva (Jaurena 60’), Sullivan, Sanchez, Metayer (Ricketts 90+2); Rodman, Hatch

Racing Louisville (433)

Lund; Pickett, Erceg, Lester (Pikkujämsä 76’), Millet; DeMelo, (C)Howell, Borges (Baggett 84’); Monaghan (Kgatlana 58’), Davis-Wright (Kanu 76’), Shuang (Holloway 84’)

Misconduct Summary:

Washington Spirit-  Hatch 39’, Bailey 87’,

Racing Louisville-  DeMelo 45’, Pikkujämsä 77’, Kgatlana 90+8’

Attendance: 8,515

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David Rusk

As seen from Buzzard Point:

First, miraculously, though the darkening skies promised powerful thunderstorms, a fairly steady wind from the south kept pushing any rain northward. Both pitch and stands were bone dry. Hallelujah!

Ashley Hatch’s brilliant long pass and Trinity Rodman’s equally brilliant finish in the third minute prepared fans for a walkover win.

Alas, it didn’t happen. Hatch should clearly have finished her second half breakaway but put the ball over the bar.

Louisville keeper Katie Hunt was good but the bar was even better, denying the Spirit go-ahead goals at least two times.

I’ve never seen a match with so many shots inside the six yard box but somehow Louisville always had a foot or leg or body in the way.

The halftime Pride show was a hoot but most memorable was the children’s parade— kids learning to stand up for inclusion and the rights of others.

As a Spirit fan, I regret not coming away with three points but as a human being I’m proud of the club on and off the pitch.

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