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Sam Staab’s late header vs. Red Stars seals fourth straight draw for Spirit

(Amber Searls/USA TODAY Sports)

The Washington Spirit salvaged a point Wednesday thanks to a late goal from Sam Staab that earned the Spirit a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars.

The matchup was the first between the two teams since their November showdown in the NWSL championship game. The Spirit won that last meeting to claim their first NWSL title.

Chicago got on the board first Wednesday, with Ella Stevens finding the back of the net 10 minutes in.

“The first 10 minutes [are] too timid, too reactive,” Spirit coach Kris Ward said. “I hate the fact that a goal goes in and people are holding their hands up and looking around as if they’re confused as to why a cross happened.”

Both sides had chances during the game, with each team getting five shots on goal. Washington outshot Chicago overall, 18-13.

In the 86th minute, Staab headed in the equalizer after an Ashley Hatch free kick.

“Somehow I miss open headers and I score headers against three people,” Staab said. “I don’t know why I make it so hard on myself.”

Washington now sits at eighth in the NWSL standings with seven points while Chicago sits in fifth with eight points.

“We didn’t lose,” Staab said. “So that’s a good thing.”