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 Washington Spirit

Spirit Continues Record Start to 2024 Season, Returns Home with Three Hard-Earned Points

June 9, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Washington Spirit News Release


Sandy, Utah - The Washington Spirit defeated Utah Royals FC, 1-0, with the deciding goal coming from rookie Kate Wiesner. Nine wins and 27 points through 12 matches are both club records for the Washington Spirit.

The Spirit entered the match under strange circumstances as eight players assigned international duty over the past two weeks rejoined the squad at different points leading up to the match. Seven players - Trinity Rodman, Casey Kreuger, Hal Hershfelt, Aubrey Kingsbury, Croix Bethune, Kate Wiesner and Andi Sullivan - represented the USWNT, while Gabby Carle was with the Canada Women's National Team.

Additionally, the Spirit Starting XI saw a bit of a curveball with the notable omission of Bethune, who was named Rookie of the Month and to Best XI for May earlier this week. She became the first player to ever win Rookie of the Month in back-to-back months.

The first 20 minutes of action were largely tame with Utah Royals FC controlling over 60% of possession, though, neither team had much to show.

That changed in the 26th minute when a scramble in the Utah box led to a ball landing at Wiesner's feet. She planted and belted a screamer that passed the outstretched arms of Utah keeper Mandy Haught, breaking the stalemate.

The goal was the first of Wiesner's young NWSL career and marks the Spirit's 17th first half goal this season, most of any team in the NWSL. In the last three matches, the Spirit has scored eight goals in the first half.

Despite the front-line applying pressure on the Royals defense, including a near goal from Rodman, the Spirit went into half with a 1-0 lead.

The second half resembled somewhat of an inverse of the first half as the Spirit controlled 60% of the possession. Of note, the Spirit inserted Bethune and Utah native Courtney Brown out of the half, both of whom made immediate impacts. However, the second half lacked an abundance of scoring opportunities for both squads.

The Spirit defense came up big. From the 60th minute until the first minute of stoppage time, Utah did not record a single shot. Additionally, the Spirit held the Royals to one shot on goal and only five touches in the Spirit box.

The 1-0 scoreline held and the Spirit left America First Field with three points, the club's first-ever away win against the Royals. The victory marks the Spirit's fourth straight win as well as the team's second clean sheet of the season. This is the second streak of four wins the Spirit has logged this season.

The Spirit's nine wins and 27 points are both club records for the Spirit through 12 matches. Nine wins is the most of any NWSL team this season, and the Spirit is the third team in NWSL history to win nine of its first 12 matches of a season - Seattle in 2014 (10), North Carolina in 2018 (9).

Next up, the Spirit returns home to Audi Field for a much-anticipated matchup against Alex Morgan, Jaedyn Shaw, Naomi Girma and San Diego Wave FC. The club's annual Juneteenth match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 15 and could see one of the top attendances in club history. You can visit WashingtonSpirit.com/tickets for ticket information.

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Washington Spirit

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2024

Venue: America First Field (Sandy, Utah)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Weather: Sunny, mid-80s

Lineups:

UTA: 1 - Mandy Haught; 5 - Lauren Flynn; 17 - Ana Tejada; 8 - Kate Del Fava; 12 - Zoe Burns (20 - Cameron Tucker, 88'); 22 - Dana Foederer (14 - Macey Fraser, 57'); 10 - Amandine Henry; 19 - Frankie Tagliaferri (33 - Hannah Betfort, 57'); 4 - Paige Monaghan (16 - Madison Pogarch, 88'); 9 - Ally Sentnor; 15 - Brecken Mozingo (7 - Michele Vasconcelos, 77')

Unused Substitutes: 24 - Emily Gray; 13 - Addison Merrick; 6 - Agnes Nyberg; 32 - Cristina Roque

WAS: 1 - Aubrey Kingsbury; 3 - Casey Krueger; 5 - Annaïg Butel; 9 - Tara McKeown; 14 - Gabby Carle; 7 - Hal Hershfelt; 12 - Andi Sullivan; 33 - Ashley Hatch (7 - Croix Bethune, 46'); 6 - Kate Wiesner (16 - Courtney Brown, 46'); 11 - Ouleye Sarr; 2 - Trinity Rodman (13 - Brittany Ratcliffe, 66')

Unused Substitutes: 28 - Nicole Barnhart; 26 - Paige Metayer; 8 - Makenna Morris; 39 - Chloe Ricketts; 4 - Lena Silano; 22 - Heather Stainbrook

Stats Summary: UTA / WAS

Shots: 11 / 16

Shots On Goal: 3 / 7

Saves: 6 / 3

Tackles Won: 9 / 13

Fouls: 12 / 7

Offsides: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:

UTA - Lauren Flynn - 9' - Yellow Card

WAS - Gabby Carle - 85' - Yellow Card


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