Recap: The Spirit falls to North Carolina Courage, 0-1

Washington Spirit  |   June 29, 2024

Washington, D.C. (06/29/2024) –  The Washington Spirit fell to the North Carolina Courage, 0-1, in a hard-fought match in front of 15,717 fans, the fourth-largest home attendance in Spirit history.   

Looking to remain unbeaten through seven straight matches, the Spirit came out with a nearly identical starting XI to Sunday’s match in New Jersey, with the exception of Paige Metayer replacing Andi Sullivan. Sullivan was listed as questionable for today’s match. 

The first 15 minutes of action maintained a back-and-forth possession between both sides, though, the North Carolina Courage broke the stalemate with a goal from Ashley Sanchez in the 19th minute. The former Spirit player secured a goal, her third of the season, in her first game back at Audi Field since being traded in January.  

Entering the match, the Courage carried a 44-match streak winning time of possession, and the first half of this match was no exception. The Courage controlled possession working through the middle of the field, posing trouble for the Spirit.  

Despite the Courage’s early goal, the Spirit didn’t let up and continued to attack the North Carolina goal, making multiple attempts but not connecting. This was exemplified by Trinity Rodman and Ouleye Sarr who applied pressure to the Courage defense with two near-miss shot attempts to finish off the end of the first half. 

Despite trailing, the Spirit surpassed its season average of 13 shots in only the 46th minute. After a continued battle on the field, the Spirit made two substitutions in the 63rd minute of the match with Makenna Morris subbing in for Gabby Carle and Heather Stainbrook for Metayer.  

This marked just the second appearance of the season for Morris, and first since the season opener. Tonight was the first time Stainbrook appeared in consecutive matches after subbing in late in the Spirit’s last match against Gotham FC. However, tonight Stainbrook was offered the chance to play her most minutes of the season, having logged five minutes in her two previous appearances.  These substitutions shifted numerous Spirit players into new positions as the team tried to find an equalizer late.  

The Spirit continued to attack the North Carolina Courage’s goal until the final whistle, attempting six shots within the stoppage time window. In total, the Spirit attempted 20 shots in this match, its highest total in a single match in the NWSL this season.  

Next, the Spirit will travel to the west coast to take on Bay FC, on Saturday, July 6 at 10 pm EDT.  


-NWSL Match Report-  

Match: Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage 

Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024 

Venue: Audi Field (Washington, D.C.) 

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT 

Weather: Partly cloudy, high-80s  


Scoring Summary:  

Goals  0  0  F 
Washington  0  0  0 
North Carolina  1  0  1 

NC – Ashley Sanchez – 19’  



WAS: 1 – Aubrey Kingsbury; 3 – Casey Krueger; 5 – Annaïg Butel; 9 – Tara McKeown; 14 – Gabby Carle (8 – Makenna Morris, 63’); 17 – Hal Hershfelt; 26 – Paige Metayer (22 – Heather Stainbrook, 63’); 7 – Croix Bethune (33 – Ashley Hatch, 74’); 16 – Courtney Brown (6 – Kate Wiesner, 46’); 11 – Ouleye Sarr (13 – Brittany Ratcliffe, 74’); 2 – Trinity Rodman 

Unused Substitutes: 28 – Nicole Barnhart; 39 – Chloe Ricketts; 4 – Lena Silano; 12 – Andi Sullivan 

NC:  1 – Casey Murphy; 11 – Felicitas Rauch; 7 – Malia Berkely; 3 – Kaleigh Kurtz; 13 – Ryan Williams; 10 – Denise O’Sullivan; 6 – Narumi Miura; 14 – Tyler Lussi (25 – Meredith Speck, 64’); 8 – Brianna Pinto (94 – Victoria Pickett, 64’); 2 – Ashley Sanchez (17 – Dani Weatherholt, 89’); 23 – Bianca St-Georges (5 – Haley Hopkins, 45’) 

Unused Substitutes: 44 – Marisa Bova; 16 – Riley Jackson; 34 – Manaka Matsukubo; 19 – Landy Mertz; 15 – Jenna Winebrenner 


Stats Summary: WAS / NC  

Shots: 20 / 8  

Shots On Goal: 4 / 5 

Saves: 4/4 

Tackles Won: 14/ 15 

Fouls: 10 / 6 

Offsides: 1 / 3 


Misconduct Summary:  

NC – Meredith Speck – 75’ – Yellow Card 

WAS – Hal Hershfelt – 80’ – Yellow Card 

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