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NWSL Sunday: Spirit take home three points from Chicago

Chicago Red Stars 0, Washington Spirit 2

The Red Stars were held scoreless for the second time and lost for the first time at home this year as the Spirit notched a goal in each half to take three points on the road.

The Red Stars started the game on the stronger foot, forcing Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to come up with some big saves, as per her usual. Washington initially tried to attack Chicago’s flanks but were denied by Casey Short and Arin Wright.

In the eighth minute, the Red Stars nearly opened the scoring, thwarted at the last second by a goal line clearance. Play immediately went to the other end, ending in a corner for the Spirit. A high, lofted ball was headed toward the far post, where Emily Boyd and Yuki Nagasato got tangled up, and the ball ended up in the back of the net, a Nagasato own goal.

In the second half, the Spirit began to gain momentum as they took advantage of the space left in a disjointed Chicago midfield. Bledsoe continued her heroics whenever the Red Stars threatened, and Washington doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Ashley Hatch flicked on a ball from Arielle Ship, catching Boyd flat-footed.

Three wins in a row – the longest streak for the Spirit since 2016 and more than they had all season last year – moves Washington (4-1-1) to second place. They’ll host first-place Utah next Saturday. Fourth-place Chicago (3-2-2) travels to Portland next Sunday.

Goal Summary

  1. Washington Spirit (Yuki Nagasato og, 9′)
  2. Washington Spirit (Ashley Hatch, 63′)

– Chelsey Bush

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