Well we’re here, we’ve made it to the now or never portion of the 2022 Washington Spirit season. They’re second bottom from the table, nine points away from a playoff position, and have just eight games left to play. If there is to be a march to the playoffs it absolutely must start now, no pressure or anything.
Perhaps aiding this cause is that their opponent, Racing Louisville, played OL Reign Tuesday in quite a physical match. It was a 1-1 draw with twenty-seven fouls and Louisville faced twenty-five shots from the visitors, with Katie Lund making a remarkable twelve saves on the day.
The Spirit, meanwhile, must bounce back from their last match in which they scored three goals (yay) but allowed North Carolina to equalize three times (ew). Adding to the frustration is that one goal was a ‘when playing out of the back goes wrong’ nominee and another a curious penalty decision.
However, all that bad juju must be exorcised as they head into Kentucky. While Racing will still pose threats through sensational rookie Savannah Demelo and Australian dynamo Alex Chidiac, a Tuesday to Friday turnaround is tough. The Spirit should be prepared for them to try to manage the game rather than go toe-to-toe.
Kris Ward will also have to decide whether to stick with the brand new, and sort of out of nowhere, three at the back formation he deployed versus North Carolina. It took the players some time to settle, but eventually Trinity Rodman found time and opportunity enough to score a brace. It’s possible it was a one-off to surprise an opponent they were facing for the fifth time this year, but we’ll have to wait until the teams lineup for kickoff today to know for sure. Whatever the formation and whatever the XI, the Spirit absolutely, positively, unequivocally, certainly, and most pressingly need to get their first win since May 1.
Location: Lynn Family Stadium, Louisville, KY
Kickoff time: 8:00pm ET
Referee: Laura Rodriguez
Available TV: None
Available streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.) & Twitch (int’l)
Spirit team news: OUT - Tori Huster (SEI – left lower leg), Julia Roddar (knee), Emily Sonnett (foot); QUESTIONABLE - None; INTERNATIONAL DUTY - None
Ashley Hatch’s absence from this report suggests that whatever leg issue picked up during the CONCACAF W Championship has healed, which is timely.
Racing team news: OUT - None; QUESTIONABLE - None; INTERNATIONAL DUTY - None
As mentioned above, the match with OL Reign was quite a physical encounter. Both Emily Fox and Gemma Bonner absorbed contact that drew blood and required lengthy stoppages in play while they were tended to. Fox was subbed off at halftime while Bonner played a hefty chunk of minutes with her head wrapped in gauze and went down a second time after another blow to the head. It’s slightly curious that neither are at least listed as questionable, but hopefully that means they made a full recovery and are feeling no effects from the shots they took sixty or so hours ago.
Previously: 2-2; Two second half goals from Racing Louisville, including an 88th minute equalizer, snatched three points from the Spirit and I did not like it. 0/10, do not recommend.