Spirit's Sorrow

The Washington Spirit cannot score. In their recent match against the Chicago Red Stars, the Washington Spirit played some of their best soccer this season. However, they lacked in one crucial area: goals. This isn't a new problem for the team; last season they scored the 4th fewest goals (21) throughout the season and ended with goal difference of -7. In the match on Saturday night, the Spirit were lively and dominated possession with most of the match being played in Chicago's half. However, despite this statistical dominance, the Spirit were only able to put 1 goal on the scoresheet. The penalty from Hatch in the 29th minute earned the Spirit a point as they drew their 3rd game of the campaign.

The team had several opportunities to put the game to bed but were never able to convert. Coming into this game, Chicago had conceded the most goals of any team so far this season (13) with a goal differential of -3. In the closing moments of the match, the Spirit had the Red Stars with their backs against a wall. They threw everything at the goal in hopes of finding a winner but fell short. In the final 10 minutes alone, the Spirit had 10 attempts at the goal that were either blocked or missed. The team lacks the ability to be clinical and can never seem to find the right final pass to make their plays come to fruition. One moment in particular stands out from the missed chances. In the 92nd minute of the game, Silano steals the ball away and quickly plays in Rodman. The Spirit are now 2 against 2 with Rodman pushing through on goal and Sanchez following through the center. The opportunity is wasted as Rodman holds onto the ball rather than taking a shot and she loses her angle. She opts for Sanchez but even that is too late as she is very quickly closed down by the backtracking Red Stars who have now caught up to the counter attack. Missed opportunities and poor decision making in the final attacking third is, ultimately, what will stop this very bright team from finding their stride and fighting for a top spot.