The Washington Spirit had the opportunity to secure the NWSL Shield, awarded to the regular season champions, last night against the Chicago Red Stars but the Spirit fell 3-1 in its final regular season match. With the Portland Thorns defeating Sky Blue FC tonight, the Spirit finished the season in second place and will face the Red Stars again this Friday night.
The Spirit were the first team to clinch a playoff berth and on track to win the Shield and the highest playoff seed but two losses in the final three games left the door open for the Thorns. With Portland's 3-1 victory in New Jersey, the Thorns won the NWSL Shield and will face Western New York in the other semifinal.
The Spirit were already assured of a home semifinal, so despite the bad news they'll still host the playoff game against Chicago. In July, the Spirit managed to win 2-0 at home against Chicago, but it was a shaky performance from Washington and during a low point in the Red Stars season. On Saturday night, Washington faced the Red Stars in Illinois and the team conceded three goals before Crystal Dunn scored her second goal of the season. The Spirit couldn't manage to complete the comeback, suffering their second straight loss as a result.
Friday's game at the Maryland Soccerplex will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Kickoff is set for 8:00pm.