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Boyds, Md. (7/15/20) – The Washington Spirit came into the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup with something to prove.
Many players entered the tournament knowing they would have the chance to make a major impact with squads rotating to accommodate the tournament’s schedule. In the final match of the preliminary rounds against the Houston Dash, midfielders Dorian Bailey and Bayley Feist did just that, taking up positions in spots in the midfield usually occupied by midfielders Rose Lavelle and Jordan DiBiasi.
On Sunday against the Dash, Feist played a full 90 minutes, and showed up everywhere (as displayed on her heatmap for the game) making major contributions on both ends of the field.
The 23-year-old led the team in shots and shots on target, with five shots and three on target, while also leading the Spirit in the number of regained possessions with seven. Feist not only created chances for herself, but also opened the door for teammates, completing 15 passes on the attacking half of the field.
Feist expressed what this tournament and her performance in this particular match has helped her improve, saying, “Overall, I think just my confidence as a whole. I know coming in I wanted to be a major part of this team and confidence was a big part of moving my game forward, and I think I showed that today.”
Bailey has also appeared in all four matches and has started in two of them for the Spirit. Against the Dash, the 23-year-old played a full 90 minutes and gave the world a glimpse of her utility as a player. Bailey was moved from the midfield to left-back in the second half of the match due to defender Tegan McGrady coming out with an injury. Bailey transitioned from one position to the other smoothly, recording two interceptions and re-gaining possession five times.
Additionally, Bailey had a perfect passing accuracy rate at her two positions, completing 100% of her passes during the match, including ten passes on the attacking half of the field and one a key, chance-creating pass.
Dorian Bailey (@Dorian_Bailey19) played 90 minutes of football without missplacing a pass. 46 out of 46. Also, creating a chance. #NWSLChallengeCup#SpiritNation https://t.co/F4JhYKrkxp pic.twitter.com/qCnY9K2dJa
— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) July 12, 2020
Bailey, Feist and the Spirit will play Sky Blue FC on Saturday, July 18, in the knockout stage. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m ET at the Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, and the game will be streamed live on CBS All-Access.