Electricity was in the air at Audi Field as the Washington Spirit took the pitch for the first time in the 2021 Season with a limited number of fans in attendance. It was the final match of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup and a challenging one against a talented opponent in Gotham FC.
The two teams were so evenly match they played to a 0-0 Draw, in what was the Spirits first home match with a live crowd since September 28, 2019.
Washington had most of the offensive momentum during the night as the ladies were able to do a tremendous job of keeping the ball. Gotham FC though had some great opportunities of their own.
One of the early chances for Gotham FC came thanks to Carli Lloyd, whose opportunity was deflected by Tori Huster. The Spirit got the fans back into the game thanks to a wonderful chance by Tegan McGrady.
These two teams battled back and forth, as it was around the 20th minute Paige Monaghan sent a sizzling shot to Spirit Keeper Aubrey Bledsoe who made an ESPN Top-10 quality save. The Spirit responded thanks to a dynamic combination of Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez who put a quality shot on their end.
Gotham FC keeper Didi Haracic was also quality in the cage at Audi Field making some stellar saves during the night.
The two teams went into Half with a 0-0 score and made some big adjustments to their play in the Second Half of action. Washington Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke noticed that Gotham FC was playing in a diamond formation on the field and put into place and formation that made the visiting side change their form.
One of the best opportunities in the Second Half came from Spirit Captain Ashley Hatch, but sadly that opportunity hit the crossbar in what was one of the many frustrating moments for those who were watching the action.
These two teams continued to battle and saw a 0-0 Draw in what a thrilling end was to 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup play.
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Washington Spirit Post Match Press Conference featuring thoughts from Head Coach Richie Burke, Ashley Hatch, and Andi Sullivan
There is also this Post Match Audio File from the stars of Gotham FC:
Fans are also encouraged to check out the following photo gallery from the night:
Both the Spirit and Gotham FC will now prepare for the 2021 NWSL Regular season. The regular season schedules were announced by both teams as the Spirit will play host to the Houston Dash in the team’s other venue Segra Field on Wednesday, May 26, with the action scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Gotham FC will start off the regular season with a home match at Red Bull Arena on May 15, with things set for 7:00 p.m.
For more information on the Washington Spirit fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:
For more information on Gotham FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: