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With third straight win, the Spirit find their groove

‘We fight until the end, and we see that we are winning games because of that’

midfielder Hal Hershfelt (17) celebrates with midfielder Andi Sullivan (12) after they score a goal in the first half against Seattle Reign FC at Audi Field.
Photo Copyright Amber Searls for USA TODAY Sports

On March 17, the Washington Spirit opened the 2024 NWSL season with a 1-0  loss in Seattle to the Reign. They were outshot 14-2 and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury drew a red card late in the match. Needless to say, it was a less-than-ideal start for a team that carried big rebuilding expectations into 2024.

About 10 weeks later, the two teams met again – this time in Washington – and the Spirit triumphed over the Reign, 3-2. The game was not only a decisive victory in the Spirit’s book, but it was also the team’s third straight win, their eighth win of the season, and the 16th game in a row in which the Spirit won when they led at the half. Currently sitting in third in the NWSL table, the Spirit are finding their rhythm.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the Spirit’s success is the emergence of rookie phenom Croix Bethune. Bethune, who scored the Spirit’s first goal on Friday night against the Reign, has been tremendously dynamic and successful with the ball this season. She’s completed a goal or assist in eight of the 11 NWSL games she’s played this season (and ever). Her assist to Ouyele Sarr in the 45th minute of Friday’s game, which landed the Spirit’s third goal of the night, brought her assist total to eight this season. Currently, Bethune is only two assists away from tying the league’s single-season assist record. 

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