Spirit earn first win of Fall Series against Red Stars

Washington Spirit  |   September 12, 2020
Spirit earn first win of Fall Series against Red Stars Featured Image

Alejandra Martin

Leesburg, VA., (9/12/20) – The Washington Spirit earned their first win of the 2020 NWSL Fall Series with a 2-1 victory at Segra Field over the visiting Chicago Red Stars.

The scoring began in the 26th minute, when Chicago midfielder Savannah McCaskill sent a through ball down the left flank to forward Kealia Ohai who then delivered a low cross into the area which was promptly put away by forward Sarah Leubbert. Despite going down 1-0, the Spirit continued to piled on the pressure late into the first half, and found themselves in good positions in front of the goal.

The game took on a new dimension in the 42nd minute when McCaskill received a red card after a dangerous slide tackle on Spirit defender Dorian Bailey, putting the Red Stars down to 10 players for the remainder of the match.

The Spirit responded quickly, with the best chance of the first half coming in the 45+2nd minute when forwards Kumi Yokoyama and Ashley Sanchez combined at the top of the box to create a chance. The play resulted in a Yokoyama through ball for Sanchez who wasn’t able to put the shot on frame.

In the second half, the Spirit showed an eagerness to equalize, and began creating chances deep into the Red Stars’ third of the field. In the 70th minute, Bailey took the ball down the left flank and crossed it into the penalty area where forward Bayley Feist latched onto the loose ball and neatly tucked it into the upper left corner, well out of Chicago keeper Alyssa Naeher’s reach to make it 1-1.

As regular time came to an end, Chicago looked to get a game-winner and in the 86th minute it was Watt who took a powerful shot which ricocheted off the crossbar to forward Dani Rhodes who looked to finish the chance, only to be denied by Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

In extra-time, the Spirit continued with their high-pressure play, staying in Chicago’s half of the field for extended periods of play. Forward Crystal Thomas made a run down the left flank, dribbled out of pressure, and took on two Chicago players before crossing the ball into the penalty area where rookie Jessie Scarpa was able to lose her marker and finish the chance to give the Spirit the lead right at the death.

The Washington Spirit will have a two-week break before playing their third match of the Fall Series; a rematch against the Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday, September 26 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS. 

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars

Date: September 12, 2020

Venue: Segra Field

Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET

Weather: Cloudy, high-60s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 2 2
Chicago 1 0 1



WAS (4-3-3): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe (c); 19-Dorian Bailey; 14-Paige Nielsen; 3-Sam Staab; 4-Natalie Jacobs (66’ 22-Jenna Hellstrom); 8-Meggie Dougherty-Howard; 7-Jaye Boissiere (45’ 26-Meghan McCool); 13-Bayley Feist; 2-Ashley Sanchez (87’ 18-Jessie Scarpa); 6-Katie McClure (80’ 5-Brooke Hendrix); 17-Kumi Yokoyama (80’ 31-Crystal Thomas)

Unused Substitutes: 21-Katie Lund; 16-Averie Collins

CHI (4-3-3): 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Zoe Morse; 32-Zoey Goralski; 30-Hanna Davison; 29-Bianca St. Georges; 13-Morgan Gautrat (85’ 34-Aerial Chavarin); 24-Danielle Colaprico; 10-Vanessa DiBernardo (c); 9-Savannah McCaskill; 2-Kealia Ohai (95’ 16-Camryn Biegalski); 19-Sarah Leubbert (85’ 27-Dani Rhodes)

Unused Substitutes: 31-Kelsey Daugherty

Stats Summary: WAS / CHI

Shots: 14  / 10

Shots on Target: 7 / 6

Saves: 4 / 6

Blocked Shots:1  / 1

Fouls: 11 / 12

Offside: 6 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

CHI – Savannah McCaskill 26’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Meggie Dougherty Howard 27’ – Yellow Card

CHI – Savannah McCaskill 41’ – Yellow Card / Red Card

WAS – Dorian Bailey 47’ – Yellow Card


Referee: Joshua Encarnacion

Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Seymour

Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Charron

Fourth Official: Scarlet Keane

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