The Washington Spirit picked up a crucial win in their final game of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup preliminary round on Sunday. The Spirit beat the Houston Dash, 1-0, thanks to Bayley Feist's 16th-minute goal. The victory gives Washington (2-1-1) seven points for the team's four preliminary round games and sees the Spirit join the North Carolina Courage as the only teams with multiple wins so far in the Challenge Cup.
The Spirit had 13 total shots and eight on goal, but it was Feist's shot early in the game that made the difference. Ashley Hatch assisted her teammate as the Spirit got the win with Rose Lavelle sidelined due to an ankle injury.
The Dash had just 40.4 percent possession, and their best chance of the game came when Rachel Daly hit the crossbar on a breakaway. Houston was held scoreless for the second straight game after scoring five goals in its first two games. The Dash (1-1-2) finished the preliminary stage with four points.
NWSL action continues Sunday night as the Chicago Red Stars take on Utah Royals FC. All Challenge Cup games can be streamed on CBS All Access.
Spirit 1, Dash 0 (Final)
⚽Spirit: Bayley Feist - 16'
Houston Dash: The Dash were unable to establish themselves in Sunday's game despite some good play in the final minutes. Houston heads into the quarterfinals on back-to-back losses in group play. With a standout performance from their goalkeeper Jane Campbell on one end, the team was unable to connect on goal on the other, recording only one shot on frame. The Dash's offensive chemistry that connected in their first two games has disappeared over their last two matches, and they'll need to try to recover it heading into to knockout play.
Washington Spirit: The Spirit dominated the match from first whistle, and led the game in nearly every statistical category, including a first half possession stat where the Spirit held the ball for 70 percent of play. The team listed Lavelle as questionable on its injury report, but the USWNT star was unavailable. The team controlled the match tempo and midfield thanks to Andi Sullivan, who eventually was subbed out due injury. As Washington heads into knockout round, the team will want to capitalize on its chances. The Spirit's one-goal performance Sunday could've been higher.