Leesburg, VA., (07/31/2021) — The Washington Spirit are set to play their twelfth match of the 2021 regular season against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, August 1 at 6:00 p.m. ET at SeatGeek Field. The game will be streamed on Paramount + in the United States and Twitch for international fans.
Here are some interesting stats to take note of ahead of Sunday’s meeting:
3 – Number of meetings between Washington and Chicago this season
Sunday evening’s match marks the third meeting between the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars this season, the most of any Spirit opponent. These three matches come within a 43-day period and constitute three of the Spirit’s last seven matches – the Spirit are 3-2-1 in that stretch. This match will be the last meeting between the two teams this season.
The Spirit have not had much success against the Red Stars this season, failing to garner a victory in the first two matches. In the first meeting, a late-regulation Trinity Rodman goal was nullified by a stoppage-time goal from Chicago just before the end of the match. The second meeting was an unfortunate outcome for the Spirit as an own-goal lifted Chicago over the Spirit in the one-goal match.
The Spirit look to capitalize on recent offensive success – scoring six goals in the last three matches – as they travel on the road to face its most well-known opponent this season.
6 – Number of Goals for Ashley Hatch
Spirit attacker Ashley Hatch has soared to another level this season. After netting her sixth goal of the season a mere five minutes into last Sunday’s match against Racing Louisville FC, Hatch became the outright leading scorer in the NWSL. This is a truly remarkable accomplishment for the 26-year-old attacker who has hovered among the league’s best offensive players the entire season. Hatch has solidified herself as not only the Spirit’s number-one scoring option, but a crucial fixture in the entire league.
It goes without saying: Hatch has kickstarted the Washington Spirit offense. This season, only four Spirit players have scored – Ashley Sanchez (3), Trinity Rodman (3), Sam Staab (1). Hatch’s six goals account for nearly half of the team’s total goals this season. By contrast, the Red Stars have struggled to find consistent scoring options. Only two Red Stars players are multi-goal scorers this season – Mallory Pugh (2) and Makenzy Doniak (2).
While the previous two meetings between Washington and Chicago have been somewhat of defensive battles, offensive firepower could tip the scales in the third meeting.
1 – Point Separating Washington and Chicago in NWSL Standings
A single point separates Washington and Chicago in the NWSL standings heading into Sunday’s matchup. Washington sits in third place with 18 points and a 5-3-3 record. Chicago, with 17 points and a 5-5-2 record, is tied for fourth place with the North Carolina Courage. Worthy of note: Chicago has played one more match than Washington this season.
The NWSL leaderboard is quite volatile of late, with massive shakeups happening seemingly weekly. Currently, second and seventh-placed teams are separated by only three points. So while the Spirit should feel confident in its position, a massive drop in the standings can come in the case of a loss.
7 – Second-half goals in Chicago’s last eight goals
This season, the Chicago Red Stars have a penchant for drama, often saving its offense until the bitter end of matches. In fact, seven of its last eight goals came in the second half. Two of these goals came in stoppage time, including one in the 92’ in the first meeting against the Spirit. The lone first-half goal for Chicago in this stretch: a 33’ own-goal when the Red Stars defeated the Spirit at Segra Field in early July.