Nov 20, 2021 - Sports

Washington Spirit win their first-ever NWSL championship

Andi Sullivan #12 of Washington Spirit (C) celebrates with Trinity Rodman #2 after scoring during the second half against Chicago Red Stars.
Andi Sullivan of Washington Spirit celebrates with Trinity Rodman after scoring during the second half against Chicago Red Stars during the NWSL Championship on November 20, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Washington Spirit beat the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 after extra time in the National Women's Soccer League championship on Saturday.

Driving the news: The victory gives the Spirit their first-ever NWSL championship victory. Both teams have reached the championship game before but neither had won, CBS Sports writes.

  • The two teams battled through 90-minutes of stoppage time and two 15-minute periods of extra time in Louisville, Kentucky, where early estimates say 10,360 people attended the game.

Catch up quick: The teams were tied 1-1 after regulation, but the Spirit pulled ahead in the sixth minute of extra time with a goal from Kelley O'Hara.

  • The Red Stars got the first goal of the game with a header from Rachel Hill right before the end of the first half. The Spirit tied up the game in the 66th minute off of a penalty kick from Andi Sullivan.

The big picture: The NWSL erupted into controversy this season over a sexual misconduct scandal that led to canceled games, the league's commissioner resigning and multiple head coaches — including Washington Spirit's Richie Burke — stepping down.

The bottom line: Saturday, however, was all about soccer. And the Spirit emerged from a turmoil-ridden season on top.

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