Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez lift Spirit to NWSL Championship


The Washington Spirit are headed to the NWSL Championship after defeating No. 2 OL Reign 2-1 in Sunday’s semifinal.

OL Reign started strong, with Eugenie Le Sommer scoring the earliest goal in NWSL playoff history. Streaking down the flank, Megan Rapinoe played a ball across the box for Le Sommer, who tapped in the go-ahead finish in the game’s 3rd minute.

Less than ten minutes later, the Spirit responded with Trinity Rodman driving home a lofted ball to tie things up. The goal makes Rodman the youngest player to score in an NWSL semifinal at 19 years old.

Washington’s next goal came in the 68th minute with Ashley Sanchez chipping Sarah Bouhaddi to put the Spirit up 2-1.

OL Reign out-shot Washington 23-13, but the Spirit’s defense held steady, denying a series of chances in the final third.

After the game, Rodman called the season a “rollercoaster,” adding that the team “were resilient” and never gave up.

Sunday’s victory sends Washington to the club’s first title match since 2016. The Spirit will play the winner of the semifinal matchup between the Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars on Saturday in the NWSL Championship.