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Admire the Unadulterated Joy of Soccer Players Shirking Social Distancing Rules

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Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)

On Wednesday four teams met on the pitch in Utah once again in another riveting installment of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup. As usual, it was a feast of athletic talent and excitement. But it was the match between the North Carolina Courage and the Washington Spirit that truly brought tears to my eyes. Not because the Spirit lost 2-0 and my darling Rose Lavelle was clearly upset by it, but because the Courage got to do something many of us haven’t done in months: hug a friend.

Image for article titled Admire the Unadulterated Joy of Soccer Players Shirking Social Distancing Rules
Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)

In the search for more human contact, Cari Roccaro and Meggie Dougherty Howard reach out for each other, perhaps forgetting they are sworn enemies.

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Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)

Even Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe seems to be wondering, “When is it my turn to experience the sweet embrace of another person?” Not this week Bledsoe, hugs are for winners.

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Image for article titled Admire the Unadulterated Joy of Soccer Players Shirking Social Distancing Rules
Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)

Tegan McGrady and Debinha considered hugging but thought better of it because hugs and high fives are still canceled.

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Image for article titled Admire the Unadulterated Joy of Soccer Players Shirking Social Distancing Rules
Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)

Someone probably should have mentioned the hug cancellation to Julia Bingham earlier in the day though. Oh well, live and learn, right?

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Image for article titled Admire the Unadulterated Joy of Soccer Players Shirking Social Distancing Rules
Image: Alex Goodlett (Getty Images)