Women’s Soccer’s Washington Spirit Prevails in Thriller – Ending Long Skid (photos)

In dramatic fashion, The Washington Spirit women’s professional soccer team prevailed over the top ranked San Diego Wave by a  4-3 score at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on September 10.

The win was as sudden as it was unlikely. Going into the contest, the Spirit were looking for their first win since May 1, having undergone an agonizing 16 straight missed opportunities, 10 of which ended as ties. The Wave, on the other hand, were sitting atop the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) standings.

The Spirit’s second and third goals came from center back Amber Brooks in a 14-minute span in the first half, which catapulted her team into a tenuous 3-1 lead only to see the advantage evaporate courtesy of a pair of second-half goals by league leading scorer Alex Morgan. Her 15 goals this year places Morgan in a commanding position to win the NWSL’s Golden Boot — awarded for most goals in a season. Last season’s Golden Boot belongs to the Spirit’s Ashley Hatch with 10 goals to her credit.

Washington had already forfeited several late leads during the winless streak, five of these in the 90th minute. Morgan’s tying goal in the closing minutes had fans experiencing a measure of déjà vu — but only until a penalty shot in the final seconds by striker Ashley Hatch in the 100th minute of a scheduled 90-minute game settled matters. 

The four goals were the Spirit’s highest total in a single game this season, and was accomplished against one of the league’s stingiest defenses. 

Washington desperately needed this win if only to to keep any scant playoff hopes alive. It was almost shocking to see the defending league champions so far down in the standings given this squad’s talent with their heavy contingent of U.S. National Team players, by far the most of any team. The dramatic win pleased most of the 10,000 plus in attendance, but perhaps none more so than the new interim manger Albertin Montoya. He had only been on the job for a week.

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s photos of the game by clicking on the photo icons below.


The win 



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