We did it, ladies. We made it to the Challenge Cup final. It was a month full of curses, drama, and so many damn penalties. And if you missed the final because you slept in on Sunday morning, we have a recap of the NWSL Challenge Cup final.
Best of the Best
Before kick off, let’s take some time to recognize the best players of the tourney. First and foremost, the NWSL’s virus protocols were a huge success. Over the course of a month, across 23 games, there were over 2,000 COVID-19 tests’, and not a single positive test. Meanwhile, the male sports leagues in the US are struggling to contain players who test positive. The winners for the best XI, the Golden Glove, and MVP were also announced. And guess what? Lesbians dominated. The Golden Glove could have gone to several lesbians, but Kailen Sheridan took the award.
Her goalkeeping was outstanding and she maintained excellent control of her backline. She was definitely one of the reasons Sky Blue advanced as far as they did. But another lesbian got the honor of being awarded the Save of the Tournament. Britt Eckerstrom’s high-flying, one-handed save was voted the winner.
Meanwhile, the Play of the Tournament goes to none other than The Great Horan. This diving header was unstoppable. And when you consider how much turf burn hurts, this was insanity.
Death. Taxes. @LindseyHoran headers.
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 26, 2020
As for the Challenge Cup’s MVP? Well, that goes to Rachel Daly, and rightfully so.
The Dash’s captain put in the work day in and day out, and I’m not just talking about during the tourney. She’s been playing, defending, and scoring goals for the Dash for years. But more importantly, she’s uplifting her teammates. And that’s what makes a great captain. Meanwhile, the Washington Spirit’s Ashley Sanchez took home the Challenge Cup’s Future Legend Award.
NEWS | @ashleynsanchezz receives the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Future Legend Award
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) July 25, 2020
What does this mean? It means you need to keep an eye on her in upcoming seasons. As the for the best XI? Well, there aren’t many surprises here. Soccer lesbians Debinha, Rachel Daly, Abby Erceg, and Britt Eckerstrom made the cut. It was a bit odd that Golden Glove winner Sheridan wasn’t named. But Eckerstrom’s performance was a clinic in goalkeeping and she’s a lesbian too so we’ll accept it.
Houston Dash v Chicago Red Stars
And now for the match-up we’ve all been waiting for, the Dash taking on the Red Stars for the Challenge Cup championship. Many fans might’ve had their money on the Red Stars to win. After all, the Dash have never made it to the playoffs during a regular season. Meanwhile, the Red Stars are in the playoffs as often as a lesbian at a home improvement store. But less than 5 minutes in, in Kristie Mewis drove the attack and went down in the box. Which of course led to a penalty kick. Sophie Schmidt did not waste that opportunity.
Chicago wasn’t going to give up without a fight. But Jane Campbell made sure to maintain her team’s lead. And we all know lesbian goalkeepers mean business.
It was going well for the Dash, until the 29th minute when Kristie Mewis went down and had to come off the field due to an injury. It’s a heartbreaking sight when you remember everything she’s been through. All the injuries, getting cut from the national team a year before they won a World Cup, and all the trades before finally finding a home in Houston. But KMew is as resilient as they come. She’ll be back before you know it. Meanwhile, Julie Ertz and Savannah McCaskill looked like a lesbian couple where one is passionately talking about why these two female characters are clearly in love and the other has no idea what she’s talking about, but is still being supportive.
Caption this one ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/SnOzlb7Y1b
— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) July 26, 2020
But all that strategizing couldn’t help the Red Stars. Shea Groom caught Naeher off her line and slotted it home. I guess you could say this goal Dashed Chicago’s chances of winning.
The Red Stars just couldn’t catch up. And Houston took home the cup on a 2-0 win.
— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) July 26, 2020
The win was a long time coming. Every year, I think to myself, “this is the Dash’s year.” They’ll win the first few games, fizzle out, and have a second wind much too late in the season. But this year was truly their year. They took on every NWSL team, in high altitude, with last minute surprises, and an intense schedule. But more importantly, they won this without a single USWNT player on the team. And not to be like that, but the power of lesbianism was definitely at play! How? Well, Rachel Daly also took home the Golden Boot in addition to her MVP award.
Do lesbians gain extra powers when their girlfriend plays on the same team? It’s entirely possible. But wait! There’s more lesbian power! Jane Campbell had the Save of the Match.
Houston showed us they’ve leveled up. They’re ready to take on the league’s best teams, and they don’t need USWNT players to do it. Congratulations Houston. You earned this.
All good stories have to come to end. The Dash defeated the curse to win it all. And the lesbian power couple, Rachel Daly and Kristie Mewis, can live happily ever after. Better than most movies we get, right? Could it get better? There are talks about having more NWSL games this year, but nothing is concrete yet.
You can head over to basketball, which seems like the complete opposite of soccer, as the WNBA season started over the weekend. But more importantly, you can help grow the women’s games by talking about women’s sports on social media, watching their games, and making sure everyone knows that the NWSL was the first US sports league to return and and they were incredibly successful. The games were fun to watch. Social media interaction was just as enjoyable. Not a single person tested positive during the tournament thanks to the protocols put in place. And still, major sports networks barely mention the NWSL, if they mention it at all. So, go out there sisters, let the world know about the skill and talent of female athletes. After all, lesbians are the backbone of women’s sports