Spirit face North Carolina Courage in midweek showdown at 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup

Washington Spirit  |   June 30, 2020
Spirit face North Carolina Courage in midweek showdown at 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Featured Image

HERRIMAN, UT – JUNE 27: Paige Nielsen #14 of Washington Spirit looks to pass the ball during a game between Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars at Zions Bank Stadium on June 27, 2020 in Herriman, Utah.

Alejandra Martin

Boyds, Md. (6/30/20)The Washington Spirit will play their second game of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup against the defending NWSL champion North Carolina Courage on July 1 at 10 pm ET at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, UT. The game will be streamed live on CBS All-Access

During the 2019 season, the Spirit had mixed results against the NWSL champions, with two losses and one win. The Spirit handed North Carolina their only defeat in their final ten matches of the 2019 NWSL season (W9), including the playoffs, winning the final meeting between the two teams. 

The Opposition

In their first match of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, the Courage took three points with a 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns with goals from midfielder Debinha and forward Lynn Williams, who was named Budweiser’s Woman of the Match. Both goals came in the second half, with Williams’ game-winning goal coming during added time.

In addition, the Courage attempted more shots (15), open-play crosses (26) and won more corners (13) than any other team on the opening day of the NWSL Challenge Cup.

Lynn Williams and Debinha will once again be key players in the Courage’s attack combined with Crystal Dunn, who had an 80% successful passing rate and two key passes for the team.

The Spirit

In their opener, the Washington Spirit rose to the occasion and took the three points against the Chicago Red Stars with a 2-1 win. Both goals came early in each half with midfielder Rose Lavelle’s coming eight minutes into the game and forward Ashley Hatch doubling the lead less than a minute into the second half. Lavelle would be rewarded by being named Budweiser Player of the Match. 

The Spirit will need to keep the high intensity from their last performance to stop North Carolina from taking over. Lavelle and Hatch, alongside captain Andi Sullivan, will be key players in the Spirit’s attack. On the defensive side, Sam Staab, who won 100% of her duels against Chicago, and Paige Nielsen, who won 100% of her tackles against Chicago, will be key factors in keeping the game under control within the Spirit back four.

Spread the love