Given what transpired within the organization the past few months, Washington Spirit’s run to the NWSL final four would rate as somewhere between extremely unlikely and stunning.
Spirit advanced to the NWSL semifinals with a 1-0 victory over OL Reign Sunday thanks to a dramatic rebound goal in extra time by Ashley Hatch, the league’s Golden Boot winner with 11 goals.
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) November 8, 2021
RECAP | Spirit Advance to NWSL Semifinal in 1-0 Instant Classic
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) November 8, 2021
The victory over the North Carolina Courage means that Spirit will take on OL Reign Sunday, Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Tacoma, Wa. The winner of that match will advance to the league championship game on Saturday. Nov. 20 in Louisville.
Spirit’s ascension to the NWSL semis was very unexpected given the upheaval that took place when former head coach Richie Burke was fired in late September amid allegations of harassment and abuse. CEO and majority team owner Stephen Baldwin was forced to sell his stake in the team.
The team is currently led by interim head Kris Ward.
Spirit are undefeated in actual games (7-0-3) since early August. The team forfeited two games in that span due to pandemic violations.
Washington was one of the original eight teams in the NWSL’s inaugural season in 2012. They trained and played games at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md until 2019.