While the Washington Spirit retained most of their NWSL Championship winning roster from last season, one of the team’s biggest moves has come off the field. Earlier this week, entrepreneur Y. Michele Kang officially took over ownership of the Spirit, becoming the first woman of color to own a controlling stake in an NWSL team.
The Spirit are coming off a 2-2 draw at home against the North Carolina Courage at the midweek. The Courage struck first, tallying two in the first half, but the Spirit rallied after the break behind goals from Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch. The Spirit currently sit third in the East Division with three draws in group play.
Ashley Hatch leads the Spirit with two goals thus far in 2022, following up her Golden Boot campaign a year ago. Rodman follows with one, accounting for the reigning NWSL Champions’ other lone finish in Challenge Cup play.
Sunday will serve as the second meeting between these teams in this year's Challenge Cup. The first ended in a scoreless draw at Exploria Stadium to open up Challenge Cup play in what served as the first clean sheet for Erin McLeod as a member of the Pride. It also was the Pride debut for a number of players - Megan Montefusco, Angharad James and Darian Jenkins, as well as the professional debut for Mikayla Cluff.
Rasmussen University Fun Fact
Meggie Dougherty Howard returns to play against her former club after being traded to the Pride prior the 2021 season. Dougherty Howard is one of three members of the Pride to have played for Washington throughout her NWSL career along with defenders Toni Pressley and Megan Montefusco.