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Waves use their Toe and Head to get a Tie with Spirit


J.J. Pavlick

After the kickoff, midfielder Chloe Ricketts became the youngest player in Spirit history to make a regular-season start at 16 years old. She is the second-youngest player in NWSL history to make a regular-season start behind Portland’s Olivia Moultrie.

Chloe Ricketts makes her first NWSL league start for the Spirit, she has started two games prior, but they were for the Challenge Cup and don't count towards her first career start for league play.

Ashley Hatch made her 99th regular season start with the Spirit, tying her with Aubrey Kingsbury, while Maddie Elwell who was inserted into the starting lineup made her first regular season start of the season.

Casey Stone and the center referee are clearly out of their minds when it comes to the laws of the game. Someone please take Casey for an eye test, glasses are needed immediately, or remove her Homer goggles. In the 22' the center after going to the VAR monitor gets it half right, he awards the penalty but then doesn't show a red card or at the very least a yellow card on a clear foul in the box in which the keeper was the last defender. The left center-back was way out of position and never catches Hatch if, she can play the ball cleanly without being fouled by the goalkeeper Shae Yanez. The keeper clearly sticks her foot out to take Hatch out in the box. Just another example of many regarding the poor quality of officiating the US has in terms of center referees. We all hoped Howard Web would fix the issues and he tried, of course, Pro is a union and like all unions, they don't care about the game they care about their wallets only. Sadly, the answer may be to remove the Pro organization from the US Soccer system and bring in an organization that prioritizes the game and fair play. Make it normal for referees to sit in front of the media and answer the tough questions like the players and coaches have to do. Even with the new pool reporter role in MLS, the officials get to wiggle out because they don't face the media member, instead, they face their assessor who is there to Cover their you-know-what and not to admit fault or push back when an official sites the law improperly. The game is supposed to be about the players that wear the uniform and too often in US Soccer at all levels in the country, it has been more about the person in the middle than the player and game.

Hatch would step up to take the penalty kick, she goes upper 90 2nd post to give the Spirit a 1 - 0 in the 23'. Hatch continues her dominance as a goal scorer in this league, Yanez guessed completely wrong on the play. It will be interesting to see why no card was issued when a foul minutes before was shown yellow and had a long VAR review, that resulted in nothing more than a bunch of wasted time.

The Spirit would have a chance to go up 2 - 0 on a free kick in the 27' but the kick taker decided to go straight for goal from 30 yards out and Yanez was more than happy to stop the shot directly at her. The score remains 1 - 0 in favor of the Washington Spirit, a minute later Barnhart makes a nice punch save to clear the danger and chance for the Wave.

In the 30' Hatch breaks between two defenders to get the long pass from her team's side of the field, she holds the ball up waiting for help instead of going to the goal, she lays it off for her teammate who turns it over immediately and the chance is done. Hatch will probably watch that back and either go to goal next time or pull it out a little more and wait on her teammates to get back and set next time.

Hill tried to take on Stabb twice and lost both times in the 35'-37' of play, the announcer swears she saw a penalty and will need a better angle than the one she picked to show her point. Even in the clip, she picks it doesn't look like a penalty for the Wave. Can we please get announcers who leave their personal bias at home, we all know she is friends with Casey but if she is going to work San Deigo games, she needs to be held to the same media standards everyone else in media is held to.

Silano will want that attempt back in the 42', she had the lane and angle but got under it just enough to sail it out of play instead of hitting the back of the net. She is still searching for her first NWSL goal.

That was not a yellow card, it was barely a foul, yet Casey Stone and her weird followers get their plea for a yellow card when San Deigo has yet to be shown 1 card and they earned at least 1 red Card and 2 yellows that half but saw zero. Home-field advantage doesn't mean we put cards away for the home team, home-field advantage means they have the crowd support behind them. The yellow card shown to Chloe Ricketts was in the 45'+3' of the first half.

The first half was better this match for the Spirit than their last match against the Pride. However, when Mark rewatches the half with his players, they will see they should be up 3 or 4 to nil instead of up by just a goal. Nonetheless, it was a better start given last match they didn't show up till the second half of play when young Chloe Ricketts came on with Civana. Hatch showed her leadership skills, when the final whistle blew, she went right to her rookie and youngest player Chloe Ricketts to calm her down and help her understand the ways of the referees. Overall, the Spirit showed their grit and fight, they didn't back down despite the card bias in the half and the Casey Stone bark-a-thon she displays when things don't go her way.

Shorts levels the match in the 47' scoring quickly to start the second half, she managed to get her toe on it just before Barnhart could recover. Barnhart will want that one back, the veteran keeper knows she needs to do better in that spot.

A minute later Shaw runs in late on Stabb going knee to knee with the veteran defender who has played every match of her NWSL career. The referee again doesn't show a card to the Wave for a clear card-able offense. The Wave has come out aggressive in the second half, the polar opposite of their first-half play in terms of the attack on the goal. Ashley Hatch is fouled in the box again and Westphall somehow gets the call to go against Hatch who was the player who ended up on the ground.

Tara is shown a yellow card and that now makes three shown to the Spirit while the Wave have committed far more egregious fouls and shown no cards at all. The yellow card was issued in the 51' of the second half.

The Spirit scored again in the 54' of the second half when Bailey played a low cross into the box towards Hatch, Shorts got to the ball first and played it right into her own goal 1st post. The Spirit takes a 2 - 1 lead in the match, Spirit should be up by more and hopefully, the missed chances don't come back to haunt them.

Ricketts is subbed off in the 60' and she appears to have a slight limp while walking off, it was one of four subs made between the teams in the sixtieth minute of the match. Each side made two substitutions in the match so far.

Finally in the 70' a yellow card is shown to a Wave player, the player booked is Jaedyn Shaw after a foul on Bailey. Shaw thinks the card was harsh, ironically it was the softest foul San Diego committed all match and yet was finally the line the center couldn't live with without carding for go figure. If only he had handed out the others (1 red, 4 yellows) as well, it has made an impact on the match and how the Wave have been able to play the match.

So now CBS/Paramount doesn't want to show players taking Hot Shots, laugh out loud. Talk about integrity shaking my head. Barnhart needed to be stretched after cramping up and needing a hot shot as well.

Ashley Hatch has had herself a match tonight, showing her offensive ability as well as her leadership skills. She seems to be embracing her new role while her teammates are away on world cup duty.

In the 78' the Wave catch a huge break after Yanez makes a crucial turnover in the final third for the Spirit, she mishit the clearance and the ball landed right to Hatch who had an open net, the Wave had two defenders in the path through to the empty goal and one of them took it in the gut and out for a corner kick. Hatch watching it back will see waiting a split second more and a slight elevation on the shot and it would be a 3 - 1 match. She made a solid shot regardless and had to make a decision quickly with the defenders running toward her to rescue their keeper.

In the 83' Hatch goes down after a knock to the head, she is evaluated on the field for a good period of time by the training staff. She will definitely be happy the break starts right after this match. She has played a hell of a match tonight and will be needed for this team to make their run for the championship. Hatch is waved back on after a lite jog on the sideline for a couple of minutes. The spirit held down the fort awaiting her return to level the sides up at eleven players each.

Ashley Hatch of the Washington Spirit following her Penalty kick goal to give her side a 1 - 0 lead.
Photo Credit: © Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

In the 90' minute of play Taylor finds the back of the goal for the Wave to level the match at 2 - 2 just before added time. The scoreline will now see the Spirit not jump to first place unless they can find another before the final whistle. Kornieck left alone by Camryn Biegalski finds the back of the net via header, she rainbowed the ball with her head into the upper 90 of the second post.

In the final eight minutes of play, Barnhart was instrumental in keeping the game level, making a number of key saves. She finished the game with seven saves, all of which came in the second half of play. This tied her career best of seven saves in one half – her two other occurrences happened in May 2015 and July 2016.

Photo Credit: © Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

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