This Is Trinity Rodman’s World And We’re Just Living In It, Washington Spirit Win First NWSL Title

The Washington Spirit are the 2021 NWSL Champions after defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in extra time. Trinity Rodman didn’t get on the scoresheet, but the NWSL Rookie of the Year single-handedly carried the Spirit to the finish line.

The Spirit fell behind 1-0 seconds before halftime. Kelly O’Hara experienced a bit of instant karma as she put in a hard challenge on Chicago’s Mal Pugh that would force Pugh to miss the rest of the game. 

Seconds later O’Hara had her ankles snatched by Arin Wright who delivered a beautiful ball that Rachel Hill headed in. Pugh celebrated on the sideline while injured.

The Spirit came out of the half looking like an entirely differently team. The Spirit dominated the Red Stars with Rodman involved in almost every play. The 19-year-old’s performance in the Championship was so incredible that words can’t do it justice.

The Red Stars had three players marking her at one point and she still pulled off a nutmeg to escape. In the 61st minute she hit a rocket of a shot that would have had the 10,360 fans in Lynn Family Stadium go crazy.

Rodman has an entire highlight reel from this game.

A dangerous pass from Rodman in the 66th minute resulted in a poor challenge from a defender in the penalty box and the referee called a penalty kick. Andi Sullivan managed to slip it under Cassie Miller to level the score at 1-1.

For the first time since 2016 the NWSL Championship went to extra time. The Spirit played in the Championship five years ago and lost on penalty kicks. Washington wasn’t going go to penalty kicks this year as O'Hara grabbed the game-winner in the 97th minute. The service was perfect, and you can already guess who was responsible for the magnificent cross.

The goal was O'Hara's first of the season. She is the oldest player, 33, to score in the NWSL Championship while Rodman is the youngest player, 19, to have an assist in the big game.

Washington recorded over 30 shots in the game, but it was Goalkeeper of the Year Aubrey Bledsoe who stepped up in the final 15 minutes for the Spirit. Bledose, who turned 30 on Saturday, had a massive save to preserve the lead.

The tears of joy and euphoria rushed as the final whistle sounded. The Spirit endured a litany of turmoil this season with reports of abuse from former coach Richie Burke in August. On Saturday the players conquered all the trials of this 2021 season for the franchise’s first league title.

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