Spirit conclude Fall Series with a win over Sky Blue
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
The Washington Spirit concluded their Fall Series run today with a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. At the conclusion of their Fall Series run, the Spirit sit at 7 points in first place and Sky Blue, with one game remaining sit at 3 points in the 6th place spot.
In the opening half, the Spirit were dominant with 57% of the possession but were unable to convert, a seemingly consistent storyline for the squad in the first halves of their Fall Series matches. The Spirit also led with eleven shots in the first half compared to a mere three shots for the New Jersey side. However, the Spirit have been excellent in the waning moments in recent games, scoring all of their Fall Series goals after the 71st minute. With a laser of a shot in the 50th minute coming from Japanese International Kumi Yokoyama, the Spirit broke their late game goal spell.
Though the Fall Series will not conclude in a Championship, top performing teams like the Spirit will be rewarded for their efforts. According to CBS Sports' Sandra Herrera,"All nine clubs were tasked with selecting a local business or organization to play for thought out the competition". Per Herrera, "The Verizon Community Shield -- a grant-based award -- will be given to the top three teams based on points earned in the Fall Series The top club will earn a $25,000 grant for their chosen community partner, with second place and third place earning $15,000 and $10,000, respectively".
As of now, the Spirit are in first place meaning that they have an opportunity to earn a grant for DC SCORES. However, the remaining NWSL teams have two games to play (Chicago Red Stars have one), which could impact the Spirit's standing. Per Herrera, "DC SCORES utilizes a unique combination of soccer, poetry and service-learning to create neighborhood teams that give 3,000 kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and in life. Spirit owner Steve Baldwin has committed to matching any of the Community Shield prizes should the Spirit come away with any of the three grants. He intends to distribute it equally among the team's other community partners -- the Youth Leadership Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Children's National Hospital, Comfort Cases, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now and Teens Run DC". Regardless of the clubs that earn the community grants, worthy businesses and organizations will be supported by Verizon and NWSL's initiative.
Having displayed exciting and creative play during a difficult year, we look forward to what the 2021 season will bring for the young squad as they hopefully have the opportunity to welcome fans back safely in the coming year.