Spirit Earn Crucial Win Against Pride, 2-1

Washington Spirit  |   August 22, 2021
Spirit Earn Crucial Win Against Pride, 2-1 Featured Image

Luke Bennett

Washington, D.C., (08/22/2021) – The Washington Spirit were victorious in their fifteenth match of the 2021 NWSL regular season this evening, 2-1. 

The Spirit began its return to Audi Field with a few notable additions to the game day roster. The trio of Emily Sonnet, Kelley O’Hara, and Julia Roddar, who returned from Olympic duty were among the reserves for today’s match. Forward Ashley Sanchez was a late omission as well, replaced by Tara Mckeown. 

Winless in four of the last five matches, the Spirit started this match in terrific form, having no troubles finding offensive momentum. In the opening minutes, Ashley Hatch made direct contact on a header that was saved by Orlando’s Ashlyn Harris. Moments later, Dorian Bailey connected with a ball that sailed past Harris but went just wide.

The electric Spirit attacker Trinity Rodman, added to the offensive barrage with two goal attempts in the 22’ and 26’. The first opportunity came after Rodman broke away from a Saori 

Takarada clearance and landed two shots, including one that ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar.

Rodman’s second opportunity came with a similar result, as her close-range goal attempt was stopped by the post. 


Through 35 minutes, the Spirit largely controlled the momentum and pace of the game, including nine shots to the Pride’s two. Minutes later, though, the Pride made its first real attempt on goal as attacker Sydney Leroux struck a clean ball that was stopped by Aubrey Bledsoe.


Throughout the first half, the Spirit largely controlled the pace and scoring chances. And after 45 minutes, the Spirit led with 12 shots to the Pride’s five shots.

Outside of another near miss from Rodman, both squads found difficulty in creating any viable offensive chances. However, in the 68’ the deadlock was lifted when Marta sent a laser from far outside the box past the outstretched hands of Bledsoe to lift the Pride up, 1-0. 

Only two minutes later, O’Hara — who subbed in for Anna Heilferty — sent a cross into the box which was deflected and subsequently struck by Hatch, who equalized the contest, 1-1, for her seventh and league-leading goal of the season. 

There was a lull in the action for the next several minutes as both teams defended their halves of the pitch well. That was until the 89’ when Rodman assisted Sanchez who sent a nearly perfect strike past Harris and into the top-left corner of the goal. Sanchez’s goal put the Spirit up 2-1 just before stoppage time was added to the contest. 


The Pride were unable to equalize the contest in the ensuing minutes and the Spirit secured a much-needed three points. 

For their next league fixture, the Spirit will continue its homestand at Audi Field against the North Carolina Courage on Sunday, August 29 at 5:00 pm ET which will be broadcast live on Paramount+ (USA) and Twitch (International).

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride

Date: August 22, 2021

Venue: Audi Field 

Kickoff: 4:00 p.m.. ET

Weather: Cloudy, low-80s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 2 2
Orlando 0 1 1

ORL- Marta – 68’

WAS – Ashley Hatch – 70’

WAS – Ashley Sanchez – 89’


WAS (4-3-3): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 3-Samantha Staab; 7-Saori Takarada (30- Cam Biegalski 66’); 21-Anna Heilferty (5- Kelley O’Hara 46’); 14-Paige Nielsen (6- Emily Sonnet 46’); 19-Dorian Bailey; 12-Andi Sullivan; 23-Tori Huster; 27-Tara McKeown (10-Ashley Sanchez 65’); 2-Trinity Rodman; 33-Ashley Hatch

Unused Substitutes:17-Kumi Yokoyama; 18-Devon Kerr; 26- Taylor Aylmer; 9- Teagan McGrady; 16- Julia Roddar

ORL (4-3-3): 24- Abby Harris; 11- Ali Krieger; 4- Amy Turner; 7- Ali Riley (21- Phoebe McClernon 65’); 17- Courtney Petersen (23- Kylie Strom 65’); 8- Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir; 28- Meggie Dougherty Howard (22- Taylor Kornieck; 71’); 14- Marisa Viggiano (15- Erika Tymrak 72’); 2- Sydney Leroux; 10- Marta; 9- Jodie Taylor

Unused Substitutes: 1- Erin Mcleod; 3- Toni Pressley; 26- Ally Haran; 29- Abby Kim; 31- Crystal Thomas

Stats Summary: WAS / ORL

Shots: 20 / 12

Shots on Target: 7 / 4

Saves: 3 / 5

Blocked Shots: 1 / 2

Fouls: 12 / 5

Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary: 

ORL- Amy Turner 45+1’ – Yellow Card

ORL- Kylie Strom 76’ – Yellow Card

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