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The Washington Spirit can’t stop breaking records

The Washington Spirit are not only winning games; they’re also setting club and league records at a remarkable pace

Trinity Rodman in the match against the Utah Royals
Photo Copyright Christopher Creveling for USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday June 8, the Washington Spirit beat the Utah Royals 1-0 in Sandy, Utah, and made it look easy.

The first third of the game was competitive, but once the Spirit broke open the scoring in the 26th minute, they went on to dominate the final hour. The Spirit defense didn’t allow a single shot on goal from Utah between the 60th and 90th minutes. And this victory was made even more impressive by the fact that eight Spirit players had just returned from national team duty (seven with the United States and one, Gabrielle Carle, with Canada). 

The Spirit, who currently sit in third place in the National Women’s Soccer League table with a record of 9-3-0, seem to be collecting wins these days. But beyond the club’s results, the accomplishments under the surface, that aren’t so obvious to the average fan, tell the real story of just how formidable this club has become this season. 

At the club level, the Spirit are matching or setting their own records at a regular clip. Saturday night’s win over Utah may have seemed like a simple tally in the “wins” column, but it held a higher significance – it set the club’s record for the most wins (nine) and most points (27) through 12 matches. The win was also the fourth in a row for the Spirit, and caps off their second four-win streak of just this season. Additionally, forward and U.S. women’s national team phenom Trinity Rodman recently completed her twelfth assist for the team, making her the career regular-season assist leader in Washington Spirit history.  


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And at the league level, the Spirit are equally as impressive. When Kate Weisner scored for the Spirit in the 26th minute, she notched the team’s 17th first-half goal of the season. Scoring early and often is not only something Interim coach Adrian Gonzalez insisted upon earlier this season, but it’s also become a badge for the team to wear. With Weisner’s goal, the Spirit officially lead the NWSL in first-half goals. Further, the Spirit have scored five goals in the last 15 minutes of the first half this season, which is more than any other team in the NWSL. And scoring in the first half clearly pays off for the Spirit, as the team is 6-0 this season when leading at the half. 

When it comes to record-breaking, Spirit rookie Croix Bethune deserves a story of her own. Bethune, who recently became the first player in NWSL history to win rookie of the month in back-to-back months, has recorded eight assists in 11 matches. That makes her the fastest player in NWSL history to reach the mark. And on May 1, in a match against the Chicago Red Stars, Bethune became the first rookie and fifth player in NWSL history to record three assists in one game. 

A new record is beaten in almost every game in which the Washington Spirit plays. This rate of accomplishment is remarkable for a team that was expected to spend a year rebuilding with an interim head coach meant to serve as a stopgap. But the grittiness of the Spirit, and the talent and commitment of Gonzalez, has cultivated a team that is reaping the rewards of their work much earlier than expected.  


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