Ashley Hatch’s late goal lifts Spirit to NWSL semifinals

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The Washington Spirit advanced to the NWSL semifinals after downing the North Carolina Courage 1-0 in extra time on Sunday night.

The quarterfinal game was filled with chances on both sides, with the Spirit firing 13 shots on target and the Courage letting off eight. North Carolina’s Casey Murphy and Washington’s Aubrey Bledsoe each came up clutch in goal, making multiple difficult saves and keeping the game even at the end of regulation.

Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch ended the scoreless stalemate 22 minutes into extra time.

Spirit forward Trinity Rodman got off a low shot that Murphy deflected back into the box. Hatch pounced on the rebound and sent it into the upper netting for the go-ahead finish and the win at home.

Next up: Washington will travel to Seattle to take on No. 2 OL Reign in the NWSL semifinals on Nov. 14.