The GIST: While some leagues’ playoffs are just picking up steam, the NWSL’s Challenge Cup is ready for its curtain call. And a standing ovation is necessary, given the drama that’s happened and yet to come.
Wednesday’s semifinals: In the first semi, the Washington Spirit beat OL Reign in a nail-biter. OL Reign was denied a penalty kick (after the Spirit’s intergalactic handball) that could’ve broken the 0–0 stalemate late in regulation time. But instead, the game went into a 10-round penalty shootout with the Spirit eventually taking the dub. Still reeling.
- Over in Missouri, the North Carolina Courage defended their early lead to outlast the Kansas City Current 2–1. Scoring your first pro goal in your first pro start to power your team to the Challenge Cup finals? NC forward Diana Ordóñez knows the feeling.
Tomorrow’s final: It all comes down to this. The Courage — a rebuild team flying through the usual growing pains — host the 2021 NWSL champ Spirit at 1 p.m. ET. There’s only one question left — who you got?