Washington Spirit weathers tumultuous year to make tournament final
WASHINGTON - The Washington Spirit is making DC sports history, snapping off eight straight wins to land in the NWSL championship game.
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To get there, the team has had to weather a tumultuous year that included losing former head coach Richie Burke amid allegations of verbal abuse and also a toxic culture.
"Oh this could be the Cinderella story we've been talking about the whole season. We're not sure anyone, you know, even use sometimes would have expected to be in the position that we are. But the fact that we've come so far, and the fact that we've put all adversities to the side and done exactly as we can has kind of been you know an eye opening experience for all of us," said Spirit defender Tegan McGrady.
The Spirit advanced to the final by beating OL Reign 2-1.
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Eugenie Le Sommer gave the Reign the early lead with a goal in the third minute. The Spirit pulled even on Trinity's Rodman's goal in the 12th.
It was the seventh goal of the season for Rodman, a Rookie of the Year finalist and the daughter of former NBA star Dennis Rodman. At 19, she is the youngest player to score in the playoffs.
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Ashley Sanchez gave the Spirit the lead with a goal from a seemingly impossible angle off a corner kick in the 68th minute.
They will face the Chicago Red Stars Saturday at noon in the final in Louisville, Ky.
Find out where to watch the Spirit on Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report