Preview: Spirit hits the road, searches for three points against Bay FC

Washington Spirit  |   July 5, 2024
Preview: Spirit hits the road, searches for three points against Bay FC Featured Image

San Jose, Calif. (07/05/2024) – The Washington Spirit will face Bay FC on Saturday night in the final regular season matchup of the year between the sides. The match begins at 10 p.m. EDT at PayPal Park in San Jose, California and will be broadcast nationally on Monumental Sports Network 2, as well as NWSL+. Fans can also listen to the team’s first-ever local radio broadcast on or the ESPN 630 AM website or app.


The Spirit

The Spirit travels west with a point to prove. Most recently, the Spirit came off one of its most frustrating performances of the 2024 campaign, a 0-1 loss to the North Carolina Courage. The result came in front of an Audi Field crowd of 15,717, the fourth-biggest home attendance in Spirit history. The Spirit logged 20 shots, its most of the season to date, but only four of those were on target and none hit the back of the net.

Andi Sullivan was absent from the Starting XI for the second time in three matches, with the Spirit unable to capture a win on either of those two occasions.

Additionally, Makenna Morris and Heather Stainbrook made appearances in the match. Morris got her first action since the season opener after battling injury. Stainbrook, who entered the match with just five minutes of action across two appearances this season, played more than 25 minutes after replacing Paige Metayer.

Last time out against Bay FC, the Spirit won the first-ever meeting between the two teams by a score of 2-1. It was the first of the Spirit’s ten victories so far this season.

Both Spirit goals came from rookies, Hal Hershfelt and Croix Bethune. They became the fifth and sixth players, respectively, in Spirit history to score in their home debuts. They joined Diana Matheson, Sam Staab, Ashley Sanchez and teammate Ashley Hatch as the only players to do so.

In that match, the Spirit outshot Bay FC seven-to-two from inside the box. Bay FC, currently ranked fifth in the NWSL this season with 51.23% possession, showed its penchant for possession in the team’s previous matchup against the Spirit as well, controlling over 55% of possession.

However, the Spirit defense suffocated the expansion side’s attack throughout the match causing Bay FC to go without a shot for nearly 40 minutes in the second half.

After being within striking distance of first place for the last several matches, the Spirit now sits four points away from the top of the NWSL table.

Saturday marks the final match before the summer window and Olympic Break. The Spirit’s next match will be on Sunday, July 21 against Liga MX Femenil’s Chivas de Guadalajara at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania as a part of the 2024 NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup.

In its next regular season match, the Spirit will play the currently top-ranked Kansas City Current on Sunday, August 25 at 12 p.m. EDT. This match will be the first match of a historic doubleheader. At 4 p.m. EDT that same day, English rivals Chelsea and Arsenal will face off in the sides’ first-ever matchup in the United States. One ticket gets you access to both matches. Fans can find these tickets at


The Opposition

Contrary to the Spirit, Bay FC enters the match on a two-match win streak. Last Saturday, Bay FC was victorious over Racing Louisville FC, 1-0, in a tightly contested road match. Asisat Oshoala scored the lone goal, coming off a penalty kick — the club’s first-ever successful penalty kick.

The last two wins for Bay FC have both been shutouts, the first time the team has earned consecutive shutouts. The team also joined the Spirit as the only teams to beat Louisville at home this season.

In fact, four of Bay FC’s six total victories on the season have come in the last six matches. During this time, it has conceded more than one goal only a single time. Five different players have scored in that stretch.

Bay FC’s momentum has propelled the team to the eighth and final playoff eligible spot on the NWSL table with a 6-9-0 record (18 points). It is the only team without a draw this season.

The middle of the table is tight, though. Only four points separate Bay FC from both the 12th-place Houston Dash and the sixth-place North Carolina Courage. Thus, Bay FC will be especially keen to capture three points on its home turf.

Bay FC faces Utah Royals FC on Friday, August 23 at 9:30 p.m. EDT for its next regular season match.



• The Spirit owns a 1-0-0 regular season all-time record versus Bay FC. The first, and only, meeting against the expansion side came earlier this March.

• The Spirit is unbeaten against California-based sides this season (2-0-1).

• The Spirit has five players going to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Trinity Rodman and Casey Krueger will represent the U.S. Women’s National Team on its 18-player roster.

Croix Bethune and Hal Hershfelt will serve as alternates for Team USA.

Gabby Carle will represent Team Canada as an alternate as it defends its 2021 Olympic Gold Medal.

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