The Washington Spirit defeated OL Reign in its twenty-third match of the 2021 NWSL regular season this evening, 2-0.
The Reign had the first real chance of the game in the 4’ when Eugenie Le Sommer drove a low cross through the six-yard box but the outstretched Rose Lavelle was unable to slot the ball away.
In the 7’, the Spirit were able to get their first real chance. After a good buildup in the midfield, Ashley Sanchez found the ball near the end line and sent in a cross that just missed the head of Ashley Hatch. The Spirit found themselves on the offensive again in the 14’ when Tara McKeown pickpocketed the Reign defender and broke free alone towards goal. Her shot would eventually go just wide of the back post.
The opening goal would finally come for the Spirit in the 22’. Julia Roddar got the ball on the left flank and floated in a cross to Taylor Aylmer near the middle of the field. Aylmer took one touch before rocketing a shot off to the upper 90 past Reign goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
While the Spirit controlled much of the first half, the Reign were able to build up pressure and create a few opportunities. Their best came in the 40’ when Jess Fishlock ripped off a shot inside the 18-yard box but a combined defensive effort from Roddar, Sam Staab, and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe kept the home side off the score sheet.
Both teams traded half-chances to start the second half with neither side finding much success. That all changed in the 59’ when Hatch found the ball near midfield and drove towards the box. From about 20’ out, Hatch hit a well-placed ball to the left of the outstretched Bouhaddi to make it 2-0.
Just three minutes later, the Spirit almost added a third but a sliding Fishlock saved the ball off the goal line.
The Spirit continued to control much of the play in the second half and were able to close out the evening with the shutout.
For their next league fixture, the Spirit return home to face the Houston Dash on Sunday, October 31 at 2:00 pm ET which will be broadcast live on Paramount+ (USA) and Twitch (International).
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