Spirited Stunner: The Washington Spirit Rally Late to Defeat the KC Current 


Image Courtesy of Luke Weidenkopf

By Luke Weidenkopf 

Forward, Trinity Rodman is blazing down the pitch in search of a goal. She has three defenders to beat. The crowd is holding their breath. The stadium is silent. You can feel the anxiety of every fan as they stare at the play developing. Rodman comes upon the KC Current goalie, AD Franch’s left side, and… 

The Washington Spirit have been a middle-of-the-pack team for the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, but they looked to change their placement against a dwindling opponent in the KC Current on Saturday, September 30. It was the Spirit’s second to last home game and they wanted a show for their home fans. 

The Spirit started off intensely. They were able to get multiple chances against Franch, but Franch came up with a timely save on almost every play. Washington was also not capitalizing on any of their chances, missing the net on multiple occasions. They were able to have sustained offensive zone time and keep pressure on KC, but nothing came of it. It was a frustrating half for the Spirit. 

They were dominating the Current defensively, with the Current only being able to get chances off of the rush, and they were not able to sustain consistent offense. However, on one of those rushes, star forward Debihana was fouled in the goal box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Current. Debihana wasted no time as she nailed the ball into the left side, just outside of the reach of goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury

1-0 Current 

The rest of the first half transpired with a similar result. The Spirit were containing any strong pressure by the Current but were giving up lots of clean rushes. On offense, the Spirit just couldn’t get a break. It was obvious to anyone watching that the Spirit were dominating. They just couldn’t finish. 

When the second half began, the Spirit came out flat. KC was dominating the play and the Spirit couldn’t get their legs under them. They were getting a few rush chances, but nothing significant. 

Then around the 52 minute, forward Tara McKeown took a corner kick which eventually reached Ouleymata Sarr and she rocketed the ball into the left side of the goal for her first goal of the season. The crowd roared to their feet as the Spirit had made it a game. 

1-1 Spirit

The rest of the game was back and forth with both sides trading great chances. Debihanna continued to excel against the Spirit but received no help from her teammates. The Spirit defenders were able to trap the middle of the field so that any advances by KC were kept to the outside of the field, with minimal chances of success. 

As the game entered the final stretch, the Spirit kicked it into the next gear. They wanted to win for their home crowd. They kept on pushing, getting rush chance after chance. As the time hit 88 minutes, Rodman was able to blaze down the field, split two defenders, and shoot the game-winner right into the net. The crowd erupted in cheering and the stadium began to shake. The Spirit had done it, in spectacular fashion. Time ran out and the Spirit got their eighth win, which was good enough to move them into fifth place in the league standings. 

2-1 Spirit

Washington travels on the road next as they look to best the team behind them in the standings, OL Reign. It should be a tough match, but if the Spirit can string two wins together before their final home game, then their chances of excelling in the playoffs increase exponentially. 

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