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Ashley Hatch’s brace powers the Spirit past the Courage

Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos

The Spirit notched three crucial points in the NWSL standings with their 2-0 win over No. 1 North Carolina on Saturday night. The Spirit’s home win marked their third victory of the season.

Washington grabbed control of the match early. In the 12th minute, Ashley Hatch slotted home a deflected ball in the box to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead.

Hatch struck again off a two-on-two break during stoppage time of the first half. Andi Sullivan intercepted the ball and strode past midfield as Hatch raced past North Carolina’s back line. Sullivan split the Courage defenders to find Hatch, who one-timed the ball into the far post to double the Spirit’s lead.

With the win, the Spirit moved past the Houston Dash for fourth place in the standings.

Next up: Washington will host Gotham FC on July 18. The Courage will face the Houston Dash on July 17.