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.
In the search for more human contact, Cari Roccaro and Meggie Dougherty Howard reach out for each other, perhaps forgetting they are sworn enemies.
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.
Tegan McGrady and Debinha considered hugging but thought better of it because hugs and high fives are still canceled.
Someone probably should have mentioned the hug cancellation to Julia Bingham earlier in the day though. Oh well, live and learn, right?