Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch was fined Wednesday for what the NWSL called unsportsmanlike conduct after Hatch put her cleats to an opposing player’s chest in the 76th minute of the Challenge Cup final.
The incident: pic.twitter.com/BftaJAGtm4— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) May 12, 2022
The incident: pic.twitter.com/BftaJAGtm4
Hatch was not issued a penalty for the play during the match, which the North Carolina Courage won 2-1.
Courage defender and captain Abby Erceg, who was on the receiving end of the play, tweeted after the game that the referee told her, “I clearly saw the ball hit your ribs.”
Ref said “I clearly saw the ball hit your ribs” https://t.co/LntbSxHSXS— Abby Erceg (@abbyerceg) May 7, 2022
Ref said “I clearly saw the ball hit your ribs” https://t.co/LntbSxHSXS
“You can tell that the players were tired,” Erceg said. “You could tell that the fatigue was setting in and it was just a matter of who was more fit. I think it’s really disappointing for a final. I think you want to see two teams that are doing really well play the best football that they can.”
According to the league, Hatch’s move violated Section 12.3.6 of the League Operations Manual, which outlines “Major Game Misconduct.” The amount of the fine has not been disclosed and the sanction is not subject to appeal under the new CBA.
This wasn’t the only questionable call in the game. Minutes earlier, Courage forward Kerolin was tackled by the Spirit’s Sam Staab and had to leave the game. No foul was called on the play.