As underdogs on Sunday, the Washington Spirit faced the difficult challenge of facing OL Reign — the team with the league’s best home record — on the road in the NWSL semifinals. The Reign — headlined by U.S. star Megan Rapinoe and France legend Eugénie Le Sommer — was considered the favorite by many to lift the trophy at the end of the season.

The Spirit and BYU legend Ashley Hatch had other plans.

After falling behind just three minutes into the match, Washington evened the score via a Trinity Rodman strike in the 12th minute. Ashley Sanchez then gave the Spirit the lead in the 68th with a nifty chip-shot over the keeper and into the back left corner of the net for the 2-1 advantage.

USWNT: Ranking The Best Players Of All-Time

OL Reign couldn’t find an equalizer over the last 25 minutes, sealing the Spirt’s victory and a spot in the NWSL final.

The Spirit advance to take on the Chicago Red Stars, who defeated the NWSL Shield winners’ Portland Thorns in the other semifinal.

Washington and Chicago will face off on Saturday, November 20 in Louisville, Kentucky. The final at Lynn Family Stadium at 10 a.m. MT. The game can be seen on CBS and streamed on Paramount+. 

Shining for club and country

For BYU legend Ashley Hatch, a season that saw her win the NWSL Golden Boot as the league’s top goal scorer is about to reach its conclusion.

Recently named a finalist for the 2021 NWSL MVP Award, Hatch has guided Washington to its first playoff and finals appearances since the 2016 season. While the Spirit will be looking to claim its first NWSL title, Hatch will be looking for her second championship as a pro after she won the Australian W-League in 2018.

To top it off, Hatch was recently named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for pair of upcoming friendlies against Australia. She last played in a match for the national team in April 2018 in a win over Mexico. 

Follow Fan Insider on Facebook and on Twitter.

Week 11 Bowl Projections: Destinations For Utes, Cougars and Aggies