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  • Erica Blackburn

Spirit dismantles Racing Louisville FC 3-0

In a pivotal match at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., the Washington Spirit beat the Racing Louisville FC, 3-0, on Saturday evening. This was their third match in two weeks.

The Spirit got off to a good start, getting a corner kick and a shot attempt by attacker Trinity Rodman. Though they weren’t able to capitalize, the Spirit showed a sense of urgency. But Washington wouldn’t have to wait long for a score. At the eight minute mark, Rodman laid out a beautiful pass to attacker Ashley Hatch, between two Racing Louisville defenders, and scored a left-footed shot. At the half, the Spirit had attempted seven shots to Louisville’s three and led, 1-0.

The Spirit came into the second half with the pressure still on. Ashley Sanchez drew a foul in the penalty area at the 51st minute. In the 52nd minute, midfielder Andi Sullivan converted the penalty with a right footed shot to the right corner. In the 62nd minute, substitutions were made with Tori Huster replacing Andi Sullivan and Tegan McGrady replacing Julia Roddar. Coming into the match, coach Kris Ward mentioned the need to rotate the lineup, especially with the Spirit having two more games on short rest. Paige Nielsen didn’t start, but did replace Kelley O’Hara in the 69th minute. In the 80th minute, Hatch scored again on a left footed shot assisted by Rodman again. Hatch now has 9 goals on the season, tied for first.

This match had significant playoff ramifications. Washington came into this match with only 27 points, one point shy of a playoff spot. Washington needed a win and Louisville proved to be the right opponent to kickstart Washington’s playoff chances. Louisville ranked dead last in the NWSL, allowing 34 goals in 20 matches coming into today’s match. This was the first of the final four matches which will determine the fate of the Spirit’s season. The final four teams – Louisville, North Carolina, OL Reign, and Houston have all been defeated by the Spirit this season.

The Washington Spirit will take on the North Carolina Courage on October 13th at Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary, North Carolina at 7:30pm ET.

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