Spirit defeated Red Stars 2-1 in OT, headed to NWSL final

BOYDS, MD. (AP) - Francisca Ordega scored in the 111th minute and the Washington Spirit advanced to the National Women's Soccer League championship game with a 2-1 semifinal victory in overtime over the Chicago Red Stars on Friday night.

Ali Krieger scored on a header in the 36th minute to put the Spirit up 1-0. Christen Press scored the equalizer in the 80th minute, then nearly won it for the Red Stars with a strike that hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

The Spirit will face the winner of Sunday's other semifinal between the Western New York Flash and the Portland Thorns. The Spirit have made it to the semifinals in the past three seasons, but have never played for the NWSL title.

The Red Stars were coming off a 3-1 victory over the Spirit in the regular-season finale last week. The victory earned Chicago the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Washington's loss paved the way for the Thorns to win the NWSL Shield for the team with the best regular-season record.

Krieger, captain of the Spirit, was part of the U.S. national team that played in the Rio Olympics this summer. So was Press, who led the Red Stars eight goals in 14 regular-season games.

It was the first playoff game at the Maryland Soccerplex. The Spirit had the league's second-best home record (7-1-2) this season.

The Spirit lost two games heading into the playoffs.

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