Down a player for most of the match following an early red card, the Washington Spirit put forth a gallant effort in a 3-2 loss to NJ/NY Gotham on July 18 at Segra Field in Leesburg.
After Sam Staab received a red card in the seventh minute, Washington scored the first goal of the match in the 13th minute and pulled even on a goal in the 56th minute after the Gotham had built a 2-1 halftime lead.
Midge Purce scored the decisive goal in the 76th minute to help lift NJ/NY to a 3-2 victory.
"We stayed very much in an attacking posture. We had some really good chances, even there at the end ... We scored two goals, two fantastic goals," Spirit coach Richie Burke said. "There are a lot of positives to take out of it."
Trinity Rodman, selected by Washington with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL draft, continued her successful rookie season. Rodman sent a shot into the right corner of the goal in the 13th minute, with Andi Sullivan delivering the assist.
"She was great. That goal was superb. She is dangerous every time she gets the football," Burke said of Rodman. "She is quick and she's tricky too, she has a really good football brain. I couldn't be happier with the way she's been playing."
Ashley Sanchez curled a free kick into the net for Washington's second goal of the match. Naho Kawasumi and McCall Zerboni each scored goals for the Gotham in the first half.
NJ/NY (4-1-4, 16 points) climbed one point ahead of Washington (4-3-3, 16 points) in the NWSL standings.
The Spirit return to action July 25 at Racing Louisville (3-4-2, 11 points). Washington's next home match is Aug. 7 versus Portland at Segra Field in Leesburg.
WAS: Trinity Rodman, 13’
NJ/NY: Naho Kawasumi, 24’
NJ/NY: McCall Zerboni, 35’
WAS: Ashley Sanchez, 56’
NJ/NY: Midge Purce, 76’