1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Washington Spirit Post Match Press Conference from 7/25. This was after the team’s 2-0 victory against Racing Louisville FC. Video features thoughts from Head Coach Richie Burke along with stars Sam Staab and Ashley Hatch
The Washington Spirit defeated Racing Louisville FC in their eleventh match of the 2021 NWSL regular season this evening, 2-0.
The Spirit wasted no time breaking the draw in this match. In the fifth minute, Tara McKeown set up a streaking Ashley Hatch who tucked the ball perfectly into the back corner of the net for her sixth goal of the season.
Action stagnated following the early Spirit goal until the league-mandated hydration break in the 33rd-minute, as both teams struggled to find many legitimate chances on goal. Louisville landed a couple of shots on goal; however, all of them were promptly snuffed by Aubrey Bledsoe. Their two corner attempts were fruitless as well.
Despite four additional shots during this stretch, the Spirit played mostly on their own side of the field, struggling to possess the ball – quite unlike a Richie Burke-coached team. Racing Louisville controlled over 60-percent of play for much of the first half and forced the Spirit to play a defensive-minded half.
Just before halftime, Racing Louisville FC flirted with their best chances at goal. In the 43-minute, a Louisville corner attempt set up Lauren Millie whose shot in the box was blocked. Seconds later, Louisville’s Gemma Bonner sent a laser towards goal which was saved by Bledsoe, her third save of the half. Prior to this spurt, Louisville had two more attractive scoring opportunities, both times being snubbed by offside rulings from the side officials.
Coming out of halftime, the Spirit once again wasted no time attacking. A Trinity Rodman tackle led to a breakaway opportunity that was ultimately thwarted. Moments later, Hatch weaved just outside the box and struck a ball that connected with the top post, mere inches away from finding the back of the net.
The Spirit’s persistence was rewarded again in the 58th-minute when a Teagan McGrady corner set up Sam Staab in the box, who headed the ball into the right corner of the net. Staab’s goal was her first of the season.
Later in the half, Louisville nearly broke its drought after a series of attempts inside the box following two corners. One of these shots on goal was blocked by Bledsoe who made a leaping attempt to send the ball over the crossbar and out of play.
Action stalled for the remainder of the half as the Spirit settled into more conservative play in order to limit Louisville’s offensive chances. There were no real scoring threats made by Lousiville and the Spirit were unable to sink any of their remaining attempts on goal.
The score remained 2-0 through stoppage time and the Spirit took a crucial three-points on the road for its fifth win of the season.
For their next league fixture, the Spirit will continue on the road against Chicago on Sunday, August 1 at 6:00 pm ET at SeatGeek Stadium and will be broadcast live on Paramount+ (USA).
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