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9 former Pac-12 student-athletes win NWSL championship with Washington Spirit

Nov 20, 2021
Ashley Sanchez (2nd from right) celebrates Washington Spirit's NWSL title.

A pair of Pac-12 products came up clutch Saturday when the Washington Spirit outlasted the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 to capture their first-ever National Women's Soccer League championship.

Former Stanford forward Kelley O'Hara netted the game-winning goal in the 97th minute, heading in a long cross from former Washington State Cougar Trinity Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year.

That wasn't all.

Washington's first goal, an equalizer in the 67th minute, came via a penalty kick from former Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan.

Six other former Pac-12 student-athletes are on the Spirit's championship roster: Ashley Sanchez (UCLA), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA), Tara McKeown (USC), Averie Collins (Stanford/Washington State), Tegan McGrady (Stanford) and Jordan DiBiasi (Stanford).

On the other side, the Red Stars featured former California goalkeeper Emily Boyd, former USC forward Katie Johnson, and former UCLA Bruins Mallory Pugh and Sarah Woldmoe.

The Pac-12's representation comes as no surprise, as the Conference of Champions has a fruitful history of producing NWSL talent.

The 2021 NWSL Draft last January marked the second consecutive year, and third time in four years, that the Pac-12 led all leagues in draft selections (11 in 2019, 12 in 2017).