Washington Spirit holds San Diego Wave to a draw

Washington Spirit shows resilience and draws with San Diego Wave in thrilling game with record crowd
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Spirit missed the chance to go top of the NWSL table. The Spirit fought back to draw 1-1 against the San Diego Wave on a memorable day at Audi Field. The fans came out in force to support the team, breaking the attendance record with 19,897 spectators, who were not disappointed with the display of a very tight game.

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If it hadn't been for the crossbar, Spirit took advantage of a mistake by the Wave. Croix Bethune arrived before Dahlkemper dominated inside the area, took control but stamped on the crossbar. More chances came and went, with the San Diego Wave struggling to pass the ball even though they had more possession, even conceding counter-attacks. But when they managed to get their passing right, they were rewarded. María Sánchez was open down the left side of the pitch and crossed to the far post. Jaedyn Shaw followed the play well, narrowly missed the ball, but shot over from inside the penalty area.

The game became more open, especially in the second half. The Wave tried to build on their lead, while the Washington Spirit tormented the Californian defense in an effort to break the deadlock. Kailen Sheridan, benefactor on one side and opponent on the other, was one of those responsible for holding the Spirit at bay, making seven saves during the game. But the Spirit showed their courage and, like a good team, they got their long-awaited equalizer in stoppage time.

Croix Bethune proved once again that she is decisive. After a long throw from Krueger, Dahlkemper couldn't get his head around it. But his touch was perfect for Bethune, who, in perfect style, took the ball on her chest and hit a left-footed cross, finally beating goalkeeper Sheridan. The owner of the number 7 jersey is one of the Washington Spirit's main players. She has contributed to the goal in the last five games at Audi Field.

The Spirit may not have been able to pick up three points, but the one point coming from a draw shows the determination of this team, which is second to none. Their determination has taken them to five games unbeaten in the NWSL. No wonder they are one of the best three teams in the league. If they keep up the pace, they'll be able to go far this season.