By Owen Krucoff
Boyds, Md., (8/1/19) – Following a Wednesday night win at Sky Blue FC last week, the Washington Spirit are headed to Cary, North Carolina, to aim for back-to-back victories.
Both the Spirit and the North Carolina Courage are in NWSL playoff positions at the moment, so the matchup promises to be an exciting and pivotal one within the context of the season.
Here are some stats to keep an eye on as the Spirit and Courage meet for the second time this year.
51 – Saves by Aubrey Bledsoe, first in the NWSL
The Spirit No. 1 continues to lock it down between the posts, leading the way among all goalkeepers in the league with 51 stops. She set a league record last season with 108 saves and she has remained in excellent form this year, adding four NWSL Save of the Week awards to her long list of accolades.
1,170 – Minutes played by Andi Sullivan and Sam Staab
Midfielder Andi Sullivan and defender Sam Staab have played every minute of action in the Spirit’s 13 games so far this season. They are among a group of just nine non-goalkeeper players in the NWSL who have appeared in 13 or more games this season without missing a minute of play.
36 – Corner kicks by Jordan DiBiasi, second in the NWSL
Rookie midfielder Jordan DiBiasi has been an important distributor for the Spirit this season. She has taken a majority of the team’s corner kicks over the course of the year, including an Olimpico goal against Portland in May that earned her the NWSL Goal of the Week award.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 21, 2019
21 – Offside calls against the Spirit, fewest in the league
The Spirit have been one of the NWSL’s most disciplined teams going forward this season, giving up possession thanks to offside calls a league-low 21 times. The North Carolina Courage have been caught offside 41 times this season, the third-highest mark in the league.
35.1% – Shot on goal conversion rate for the Spirit
Only the Portland Thorns (41.6%) have been a more effective shooting team than the Spirit this season. Washington has scored on 19 of its 54 shots on goal. As long as the attack can keep placing shots on target, the goals should continue to flow.
Kickoff between the Spirit and Courage is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday night. Fans can catch the match on Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.