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Leesburg, VA., (08/28/2021) — The Washington Spirit are set to play their sixteenth match of the 2021 regular season against the North Carolina Courage on Sunday, August 29 at 5:00 p.m. ET at Audi Field. The game will be streamed on Paramount + in the United States and Twitch for international fans.
Here are some interesting stats to take note of ahead of Sunday’s meeting:
3 – Game winning streak for the Courage
The North Carolina Courage are currently riding a three-game winning streak dating back to its 1-0 victory over NY/NJ Gotham FC on August 7th. These three victories are a part of a larger five-game unbeaten streak in which the Courage have catapulted back towards the top of the NWSL table. In fact, the Courage are 3-0 in the month of August, and will come into Sunday’s game against the Spirit having not lost in over a month.
That said, the first – and only – meeting between the two squads resulted in a decisive, 2-0, Spirit victory at Audi Field, despite North Carolina being one of the hottest teams in the NWSL at the time. That loss began a dry spell for the Courage in which they did not capture a victory in four games. So, while the second ranked Courage are certainly a tough matchup, the Spirit have faced similar circumstances, and prevailed.
1 – The number of points separating the 3rd and 7th– placed teams in the NWSL
The 2021 NWSL table has arguably been one of the most volatile tables in recent years, as each week, teams seemingly rearrange themselves among the standings. This holds remarkably true for the third through seventh placed teams who are separated by only a single point. The Spirit and OL Reign rank third and fourth with 22 points, while NY/NJ Gotham FC, the Orlando Pride, and the Chicago Red Stars are deadlocked with 21 points. Also worthy of note is the Houston Dash who sit in eighth with 18 points – only a victory away from potentially breaking into the top-five.
Ahead of this match, North Carolina currently ranks second in the NWSL with 27 points, five points ahead of Washington. In the last meeting between these two teams, North Carolina owned sole possession of first place in the NWSL standings while Washington sat in the sixth spot.
5 – Number of Courage and Spirit players representing the league’s top-10 goal scorers
It is no secret that these two teams are equipped with offensive firepower at the attacking positions. That said, it should come as no surprise that half of the players constituting the top-10 goal scorers in the NWSL are Spirit or Courage players. League-leading goal scorer, Ashley Hatch, leads the list of players with seven goals, followed by the Courage’s Lynn Williams (5) and Amy Rodriguez (4). Trinity Rodman has held steady among the top-10 with four goals. And after an 89th-minute goal that lifted the Spirit against the Pride, Ashley Sanchez (4) rounds out the list.
The outcome of Sunday’s match may largely rely on which team’s strikers are in top form. Nonetheless, both teams must plan and execute strategies to quell the hot scoring options of the opponent.