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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Washington Spirit defender Whitney Church voted Player of the Week
Goal and a game-saving block for Church in 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC
Whitney Church got her foot to this ball to block the close range effort from Sam Kerr. Church was named Player of the Week for Week 20. (Photo credit: Meg Linehan for NWSL Media)
Whitney Church got her foot to this ball to block the close range effort from Sam Kerr. Church was named Player of the Week for Week 20. (Photo credit: Meg Linehan for NWSL Media)

On Tuesday, Washington Spirit defender Whitney Church was voted the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 20, thanks to her goal and game-saving block in stoppage time in the 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC on Sunday.

Church’s equalizing goal in the 75th minute was the first of her NWSL career, and helped snap the Spirit’s six-game winless streak on the road in New Jersey.

The defender also turned in a strong performance on the other side of the ball. According to Opta, she finished the match with seven interceptions, four clearances, three blocks, two tackles and gained possession 12 times.

Church came up with a key blocked shot in the closing moments of stoppage time against Sky Blue’s Kelley O’Hara, which gave Spirit goalkeeper DiDi Haracic enough time to scramble back and make a second save. Their combined work won them the NWSL Save of the Week for Week 20, as voted by the fans of the league.

The win dashed Sky Blue FC’s postseason hopes, but it was also just the second win on road this season for the Spirit. Their only other win away from the Plex this season also came at Sky Blue FC’s expense back in the start of August. Thanks to the efforts of Church and her side, the Spirit went 3-0-0 against Sky Blue this season.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

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