The Washington Spirit looked to end their winless streak through a tough test against the third place Houston Dash. Though the Dash led at halftime, two goals in two minutes from Ashley Hatch gave the Spirit the lead before another late equalizer sealed their tenth draw of the season.
The Washington Spirit and Houston Dash met for the 22nd time in their respective franchises history, as the Spirit are looking to make their way up the table for a chance to defend their championship title. This would be the Spirit’s first match without defender Emily Sonnett, as well as now ex-coach Kris Ward.
At the start of the game, Houston opened the scoring, with a goal by Salmon at the 22nd minute. The Dash steadily controlled the tempo afterwards, with clean passes across the field, and three more shot attempts before closing out the half. A match tying goal attempt made by McKeown at the 29th minute, was the only shot by the Spirit in the entire first half.
With the start of the second half, the tempo had shifted. Hatch opened up the second with two early goals, only two minutes apart from one another, and the Spirit team seemed to come alive. Hatch’s first goal, with an assist from Rodman, came at the 53rd minute of the game.
Shortly after Hatch’s second goal came at the 55th minute and the Spirit took the lead. It was only 10 minutes after Hatch opened the scoring for the half, that she’d be subbed out, but for the brief moment, the momentum shift was in favor of the Spirit.
It wasn’t until the 90th minute of the match when Michelle Alozie, who Houston subbed in for Nichelle Prince, attempted a header that was initially pushed away by Kingsbury but pounced on by Alozie for the tying goal.
With every Houston and Washington player bunched around Kingsbury and the Spirit goal, there would be five more goal attempts before the final whistle, ending the match and ending the Spirit’s chance to break their 16-game winless streak.
After the match, Andi Sullivan sat down with her co-captain Aubrey Kingsbury and read a statement from the players on the dismissal of Kris Ward and his interview with The Athletic.
NWSL Regular Season
Dash - S. Schmidt 22’, Alozie 90’
Spirit - Hatch 53’, Hatch 55’
Houston Dash (433): Cambell(C); Dydasco, Groom (Ogle 74’), Jacobs (Gareis 75’), Naughton; Prince (Alozie 81’), Prisock, Salmon (Gauvin 81’) ; Sánchez, S. Schmidt, Viggiano (Visalli 74’)
Washington Spirit (4231): Kingsbury; Bielgalski, Staab, Brooks (Rodriguez 79’), Heilferty; Bailey (Feist 63’), Sullivan(C); Rodman, Sanchez (Sheva 90’+2’), Hatch (Baggett 63’); McKeown
Houston Dash: Dydasco 45’+3’, Jacobs 55’
Washington Spirit- Brooks 42’, Bielgalski 85’