Hear from Washington Spirit Goalie Aubrey Bledsoe and Defender Tori Huster after the club’s tough 4-3 penalty kick loss to Sky Blue FC in the Quarterfinals of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup
The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Tournament has been a thrilling one for both Sky Blue FC and for the Washington Spirit, as these two amazing clubs had the opportunity to meet in the Quarterfinal round today.
It was Sky Blue FC that earned a 4-3 victory on a penalty shoot out, at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Starting off the match both clubs tried to find their offensive rhythm, with the Spirit creating more chances. Around the 12 minute mark Washington saw a wonderful opportunity by defender Paige Nielsen sent a long ball to forward Ashley Hatch who found Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama at the top of the box, but the chance ended up going over the crossbar.
The Spirit continued their positive play on the offensive side of the ball when they saw a brilliant play from forward Ashley Sanchez who challenged Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan often. Sanchez was able to take many great chances, forcing for Sheridan to make some tremendous saves in the cage.
One of the best chances for Sanchez came around the 42′ when she was able to find a great connection from Tori Huster, this connection led to a great opportunity but in the end that was denied by a gigantic save made by Sheridan.
Sheridan had eight saves in regulation and continues to show why she is one of the top keepers in the NWSL, continuing her stellar keeper play for Sky Blue FC this season.
Washington continued creating chances in the last 20 minutes of play and headed into the break tied but with 59% possession, 87% passing accuracy and six shots, with four on goal, while only allowing Sky Blue one shot on target.
These two tremendous clubs were not able to find a goal in regular time and pushed themselves into the penalty shoot out frame.
It was Sky Blue FC that found the magical formula during the penalty shots, seeing some beautiful touches from Elizabeth Eddy, McCall Zerboni and Nahomi Kawasumi.
Sadly for the Washington Spirit their time in the NWSL Challenge Cup has come to an end, but the good news for the followers of Sky Blue FC is that the season will continue on. New York will face either the Chicago Red Stars or OL Reign in the semifinals.
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