Recap: Spirit win home opener against Bay FC in front of record crowd

Washington Spirit  |   March 24, 2024



Washington, D.C. (03/23/2024) – The Washington Spirit defeated Bay FC, 2-1, in the team’s 2024 home opener in front of 11,734 attendees – this number marks a club record for a home opener match. The victory came in the first-ever meeting between the Washington Spirit and Bay FC, and remarkably, both Spirit goals came off the foot of a first-year player – Croix Bethune and Hal Hershfelt.


The game began with a consistent battle for possession, until the 11th minute when Bay FC secured the lead off a Dorian Bailey goal. Bailey, a longtime Spirit player, was traded to Bay FC for expansion draft protection this offseason. She ranks sixth all-time in Spirit history with 73 appearances for the club.


In the 22nd minute the Spirit responded: Hershfelt launched the ball into the top left of the goal off an assist from Trinity Rodman. Rodman, in the 75th appearance of her career (all competitions), tied the club assist record (11) with legends Diana Matheson and Crystal Dunn. Hershfelt’s goal made her the fifth player in Spirit history to score in their home debut, joining Diana Matheson, Sam Staab, Ashley Hatch, and Ashley Sanchez.



Following the game-tying goal the pace of the game moved quickly, but the score stayed stagnant. Casey Krueger went down after a collision at the top of the box with a teammate, resulting in a substitution by Anna Heilferty – her first appearance since October 1, 2022. Bay FC’s Scarlett Camberos collected a yellow card in the 48th minute after a battle with Rodman. Ten minutes later, Rodman picked up her own yellow card in the 59th minute of the game.


The Spirit defense suffocated the opposing attack throughout the match causing Bay FC to go without a shot for nearly 40 minutes (49:15 – 86:10). Throughout the offensive drought for Bay FC, the Spirit unleashed a frenzy of attacks resulting in many close calls, including the crossbar denying a rocket from Bethune in the 89th minute of the game. Finally, in the 94th minute, a scramble in front of the goal resulted in a shot from Bethune’s right foot, finding the back of the net. The goal secured the Spirit win, the team’s sixth consecutive home opener win. The goal also helped Bethune join teammate Hal Hershfelt in the short list of Spirit players who have scored in their home debut.



Next up, the Spirit welcomes fans back to Audi Field as Utah Royals FC comes to town next Sunday, March 31 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available here.


-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. Bay FC

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024

Venue: Audi Field (Washington, D.C.)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Weather: Cloudy, low-40’s, with 13 mph wind.


Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 1 1 2
Bay 1 0 1

BAY – Dorian Bailey – 11’

WAS – Hal Hershfelt – 23’

WAS – Croix Bethune – 90’+5’



WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 3- Casey Krueger (21- Anna Heilferty, 43’) 5- Annaïg Butel; 9- Tara McKeown; 14- Gabrielle Carle; 7- Croix Bethune; 12- Andi Sullivan; 17- Hal Hershfelt; 2- Trinity Rodman (16- Courtney Brown, 86’) 11- Ouleymata Sarr (13- Brittany Ratcliffe, 61’); 33- Ashley Hatch.

Unused Substitutes: 18- Lyza Bosselmann; 8- Makenna Morris; 22- Heather Stainbrook; 39- Chloe Ricketts


BAY: 44- Lysianna Proulx; 4- Emily Menges; 5- Jen Beattie (20- Alyssa Malonson, 68’) 3- Caprice Dydasco; 2- Savvy King; 18- Joelle Anderson; 19- Dorian Bailey; 10- Deyna Castellanos; 8- Asisat Oshoala; 12- Tess Boade; 11- Scarlett Camberos (21- Rachel Hill, 76’)

Unused Substitutes: 0- Katelyn Rowland; 6- Maya Doms; 14- Jamie Shepherd; 15- Caroline Conti; 23- Kiki Pickett; 24- Maddie Moreau; 27- Kayla Sharples


Stats Summary: WAS / BAY

Shots: 14 / 8

Shots On Goal: 5 / 3

Shots Blocked: 1 / 2

Saves: 2 / 3

Tackles Won: 12 / 15

Fouls: 7 / 6

Offsides: 1 / 3


Misconduct Summary:

BAY – Scarlett Camberos– 48’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Trinity Rodman– 59’ – Yellow Card

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