Spirit Comeback Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to North Carolina

Washington Spirit  |   June 29, 2019
Spirit Comeback Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to North Carolina Featured Image

Boyds, MD – Saturday, June 29, 2019: The North Carolina Courage defeated the Washington Spirit 2-1 at Maureen Hendricks Field, Maryland SoccerPlex.

Boyds, Md. (June 29, 2019) – The Washington Spirit suffered their first defeat in over two months in a 2-1 loss to the defending champion North Carolina Courage.

The Spirit played a strong first half highlighted by multiple highlight saves by Aubrey Bledsoe. Among them was a deflection over the bar following a well-hit shot from Merritt Mathias.

The Courage would break through at the end of the first half on a penalty kick in the third minute of added time at the end of the second half. Brazillian midfielder Debinia fired the ball to the left side, but Bledsoe made the initial diving save. The following rebound fell right to the feet of charging Debinha, who tucked the chance away into an empty net. 

NC found the back of the net again in the 53rd minute putting the Courage up 2-0. The Spirit began to mount an impressive comeback in the second half, with many players getting quality chances. Of those chances, a cut-and-shoot opportunity from Cheyna Matthews threatened to cut the lead.

The Spirit earned their first goal on the night off an inbounds pass from Sam Staab. Defender Staab centered the ball in from the left wing to the left side of the box, finding Bayley Feist. Feist connected on a header which then found forward Crystal Thomas, who headed the ball to the lower left side of the goal and past keeper Katelyn Rowland. 

The Spirit surge would continue into the final minute of action. The best chance of the match for the Spirit to equalize came from the left-foot of forward Ashley Hatch, who tested Rowland with a bending shot her right, forcing a fantastic save. 

However, the comeback would fall just short. The defeat marks the first Spirit loss in over two months. The franchise record unbeaten streak will stand at 69 days.

The Spirit travel south to Orlando to face the last-place Pride next Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at the Orlando City Stadium. 

The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. The match will also be streamed on Yahoo! Sports and Monumental Sports Network.

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage

Date: June 29, 2019

Venue: Maureen Hendricks Field

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

Weather: Low 90s, Partly Cloudy

Attendance: 3,481


Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 1 1
North Carolina 1 1 2


NCC – Debinha 45+3’

NCC – Pruitt 53’

WAS – Crystal Thomas 82’


WAS (4-3-3): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 3-Sam Staab; 14-Paige Nielsen; 23-Tori Huster; 7-Amy Harrison (57’ 13-Bayley Fiest); 4-Jordan DiBiasi; 12-Andi Sullivan (c); 8-Meggie Dougherty Howard (57’ 20-Cheyna Matthews); 33-Ashley Hatch; 6-Chloe Logarzo (67’ 31-Crystal Thomas); 19-Dorian Bailey

Unused Substitutes: 2-Arielle Ship; 30-Shae Yanez; 18-McKenzie Berryhill; 2-Arielle Ship; 24-Carlin Hudson; 21-Sammy Jo Prudhomme


NC (4-4-2): 0-Katelyn Rowland; 3-Kaleigh Kurtz; 20-Ryan Williams; 11-Merritt Mathias; 15-Jae Hinkle; 7-McCall Zerboni (c); 8-Denise O’Sullivan; 21-Cari Roccard; 9-Lynn Williams; 10-Debinha (84’ 16-Julia Spetsmark); 12-Leah Pruitt (78’ 25-Meredith Speck)

Unused Substitutes: 4-McKenzie Meehan; 27-Lauren Milliet; 31-Shannon Horgan; 37-Sam Leshnak


Stats Summary: WAS / NC

Shots: 13 / 18

Shots on Goal: 4 / 7

Saves: 5 / 3

Blocked Shots: 2 / 4

Fouls: 8 / 8

Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:

WAS – Amy Harrison 39’ – Yellow Card

NC – McCall Zerboni 90+3’ – Yellow Card


Referee: Danielle Chesky

Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wasiak

Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim

Fourth Official: Gary Gutierrez


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