Spirit Are Playoff Bound Despite Loss
By Kevin O’Rourke
The stage was set for a terrific party at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown on Saturday night. The crowd of 4,282 was ready to party with the hometown Spirit, but the visiting New Jersey Sky Blue FC had other ideas.
The Spirit’s bid to clinch a playoff spot by winning the last home game of the season fell short after a 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC, but the Spirit got help from the Western New York Flash who eliminated the Chicago Red Stars by playing to a draw and securing the Spirit a spot in the playoffs.
With the Red Star eliminated, and the Portland Thorns jumping to the third spot with a victory over the Seattle Reign on Sunday, the Spirit will make their first post-season NWSL appearance next Sunday, Aug. 25 against Hope Solo and the Reign at 11 pm ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
The Spirit came out strong in their bid with clinch as both teams had several scoring chances early on in the match, but Sky Blue FC would strike first on a goal from forward Monica Ocampo in the 27th minute. <