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Washington
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1
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Chicago
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Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars score: O'Hara extra time goal seals Spirit's first NWSL championship

It must be destiny as goals from Andi Sullivan and Kelly O'Hara guide the Washington Spirit to their first ever NWSL championship. This match got off to a scrappy start as we saw why defenses got these teams where they are. The Red Stars were hit with an injury early as Vanessa DiBernardo had to be withdrawn for Makenzy Doniak. DiBernardo was already a game time decision but making it 13 minutes isn't what an injury laden Chicago team needed. The matcht was a cagey affair until deep into stoppage time of the first half when the Red Stars found a breakthrough as Arin Wright shook off Kelley O'hara to put in a looping cross which found the head of Rachel Hill. 

Unfortunately, the goal came at a price as the extended stoppage time happened due to Red Stars' Mallory Pugh receiving treatment and she wouldn't return for the second half of the match being replaced by Danielle Colapricio. The Spirit got onto the board after Tara McKeown drew a foul on a tackle in the box from Tierna Davidson.  Andi Sullivan had ice in her veins and buried the penalty bringing things level at 1-1.

Even with chances from both sides, the match would reach extra time but it was clear that the momentum was fully with the Spirit. With injuries and the effort that they expended to get to the end of the match level, the Red Stars were gassed. Chicago had to withstand a major second half onslaught, getting outshot 17-1 as Washington turned the screws to get back in the match. In extra time, O'Hara would score her first goal of the season at the best time possible via an assist from Trinity Rodman, who was everywhere today, putting the Spirit up 2-1. 

Though, after an hour of being unable to threaten the Spirit, the Red Stars did not go quietly after falling behind. Aubrey Bledsoe and the defense had to withstand a late onslaught from the Red Stars to close out the match. Five of Chicago's 14 shots came in the second period of extra time. But, thanks to a couple of stunning last minute saves from Bledsoe, the Spirit secured their first ever NWSL championship, closing out a roller coaster of a season both on and off the field.

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KELLY O'HARA SCORES!

Rodman is the provider as her cross across the goal gives O'Hara time to get onto it. Is Washington the team of destiny? With O'Hara picking now for her first goal of the season, it sure feels like it.

November 20, 2021, 7:18 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 8:36 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 8:00 PM
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Arin Wright tries her luck from distance and it was just off target. Everyone is forward for Chicago right now!  

November 20, 2021, 7:48 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:47 PM
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BIG CHANCE FROM DONIAK!

In the 117th minute, Doniak was clear through but Bledsoe was strong on the save and the defense was there to clear the rebound removing the danger.

November 20, 2021, 7:45 PM
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@WashSpirit via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:43 PM
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Davidson almost gets one from a broken set play. Sullivan tries to clear the ball almost leading to an own goal but safe hands from Bledsoe keeps things where they are. 2-1 advantage to the Spirit.

November 20, 2021, 7:40 PM
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Chicago looks for a leveler but it seems like they may be out of steam heading into the final ten minutes of the match.

November 20, 2021, 7:38 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:31 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:28 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:27 PM
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@WashSpirit via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:23 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:18 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:16 PM
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Washington is picking things up where they left off as Hatch finds space to test the keeper.

November 20, 2021, 7:16 PM
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@chicagoredstars via Twitter
November 20, 2021, 7:15 PM
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