Recap: Spirit earns three points in historic four-goal night against Chicago

Washington Spirit  |   May 2, 2024

Bridgeview, Ill. (05/01/2024) – The Washington Spirit earned a triumphant 4-2 victory on the road against the Chicago Red Stars Wednesday night. 


With a start in today’s match, Andi Sullivan earned her 100th career NWSL regular season start, all coming with the Spirit. The former number one overall draft selection joins Spirit legend Tori Huster and teammates Aubrey Kingsbury and Ashley Hatch as the only players to hit 100 starts with the team.  


The first half opened without much affair, remaining largely actionless for over 25 minutes. In fact, the first shot of the match came in the 28th minute. That shot – a Trinity Rodman goal. 



Rodman’s goal, which clanged off both posts before nestling in the back of the net, was her first of the season. Croix Bethune set up Rodman’s goal for her second assist in as many games. 


Less than two minutes later, the Spirit struck again. The common denominator: Trinity Rodman. She played a pass to Ouleye Sarr who struck a high arching ball with ease past Chicago keeper Alyssa Naeher to add to the tally. 



In the sequence, Rodman logged her third assist of the season, while Sarr recorded her third goal. Rodman’s three assists rank second in the NWSL. Additionally, at 21 years old, Rodman became the youngest player to ever reach 40 goal contributions across all NWSL competitions. The goal marked the Spirit’s seventh first-half goal through seven games this season, with only Kansas City (9) scoring more. 


Despite the offensive flurry, the Spirit did not relent on the defensive end. The Red Stars failed to record a shot on target in the first half, and the home team’s first – and only – shot in the first half came in the 35th minute. In the last 21 matches, the Spirit is unbeaten when leading at half-time (14-0-7), dating back to October 2017. 


Chicago made things interesting with a goal in the 79th minute from second half substitute Ally Schlegel. Though, the Spirit responded almost instantly when Bethune found Brittany Ratcliffe in transition. On the run, Ratcliffe curled the ball in, banging the near post before finding the back of the net.  


The pairing of Bethune and Ratcliffe outdid themselves, as Bethune found Ratcliffe once more three minutes later.  


Ratcliffe’s goal, her third of the season, ties her for most on the Spirit this season. All three of her goals have come off the bench, helping the Spirit score five goals from substitutes this season – the most in the NWSL. The brace from Ratcliffe is the first of her career, while her three goals this season set a new single-season career high.  


Bethune set records of her own, becoming the first Spirit player ever to record three assists in one match. Additionally, she is just the fifth player – and represents the fifth such instance – in NWSL history to accomplish this feat. With four assists this season, she leads the team and is tied for the most in the NWSL, also becoming the youngest player ever to record three assists in one game (all competitions) – over two years younger than the next closest player. 


In total, the Spirit has scored five goals in the last 15 minutes of the second half this season, more than any other team in the league. The side defeated Chicago in the regular season for the first time in nine matches and scored four goals in a regular season match for the first time since September 2022. 


Also of note, Heather Stainbrook made her NWSL debut today, subbing in for Ouleye Sarr in the 87th minute. She becomes the first player in Utah Valley University history to appear in an NWSL match.  


Next up, the Spirit hops to the second leg of its three-match away trip, facing off against Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, May 4 at 10 p.m. EDT.  


-NWSL Match Report- 

Match: Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit  

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 

Venue: SeatGeek Stadium (Bridgeview, Illinois) 

Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. EDT  

Weather: Sunny, mid-60s 


Scoring Summary: 

Goals  1  2  F 
Chicago  0  2  2 
Washington  2  2  4 

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 28′ (assisted by Croix Bethune) 

WAS – Ouleye Sarr – 30′ (assisted by Trinity Rodman) 

CHI – Ally Schlegel – 79′  

WAS – Brittany Ratcliffe – 83′ (assisted by Croix Bethune) 

WAS – Brittany Ratcliffe – 86′ (assisted by Croix Bethune) 

CHI – Leilanni Nesbeth – 90’+2′  



CHI: 1 – Alyssa Naeher; 32 – Taylor Malham (11 – Chardonnay Curran, 46’); 3 – Sam Staab; 12 – Natalia Kuikka; 28 – Maximiliane Rall; 4 – Cari Roccaro; 5 – Júlia Bianchi (13 – Leilanni Nesbeth, 78’); 24 – Jenna Bike (55 – Penelope Hocking, 59’); 33 – Ally Cook (34 – Ally Schlegel, 46’); 9 – Mallory Swanson; 8 – Jameese Joseph (10 – Shea Groom, 69’) 

Unused Substitutes: 41 – Hannah Anderson; 30 – Camryn Biegalski; 23 – Tatumn Milazzo; 19 – Mackenzie Wood 


WAS: 1 – Aubrey Kingsbury; 3 – Casey Krueger; 5- Annaïg Butel; 9 – Tara McKeown; 14 – Gabby Carle; 7 – Croix Bethune (16 – Courtney Brown, 87’); 12- Andi Sullivan (26 – Paige Metayer, 75’); 17 – Hal Hershfelt; 2 – Trinity Rodman (13 – Brittany Ratcliffe, 75’); 11 – Ouleye Sarr (22 – Heather Stainbrook, 87’); 33 – Ashley Hatch (6 – Kate Wiesner, 65’) 

Unused Substitutes: 28 – Nicole Barnhart; 39 – Chloe Ricketts; 4 – Lena Silano


Stats Summary: CHI / WAS 

Shots: 7 / 10 

Shots On Goal: 4 / 5 

Saves: 1 / 2 

Tackles Won: 10 / 17 

Fouls: 15 / 8 

Offsides: 1 / 1 


Misconduct Summary: 

WAS – Annaïg Butel – 45’ – Yellow Card 

CHI – Cari Roccaro – 53’ – Yellow Card 

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 58’ – Yellow Card

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