Soccer

Rose Lavelle's English Bulldog might be the real star of the family

Rose Lavelle's English Bulldog might be the real star of the family

As part of NBC Sports Pro Pets series, each week, NBC Sports Washington will release a new short-form video profiling local athletes and the animals they love. Presented by Olde Towne Pet Resort.

Washington Spirit and United States women's national soccer team midfielder, Rose Lavelle, has made a name for herself on the field, but the bigger celebrity just might be her English Bulldog, Wilma Jean Wrinkles. 

"When Wilma was born Instagram became a thing, so she [Wilma] wanted an Instagram," Lavelle said. "My mom is her PR so she runs her account, but it's kind of a group effort."

Wilma has over 5,000 followers on IG and at this point, she's a certified influencer. "She's pretty photogenic so it's easy," Lavelle said.

Rose is willing to put Wilma up against any other dogs at the park in a good old-fashioned game of soccer. 

"She's pretty good at soccer," Lavelle said. "She'd definitely be a defender - she's good at stopping me especially because she's so low to the ground."

A major part of being an athlete is nutrition. Luckily for Wilma, that's her favorite thing to work on.

"She eats anything and everything," Lavelle said. "She cries anytime someone has a morsel of food around her because she wants you to share anything you're eating."

Wilma's home is in Cincinnati so when the USWNT played in Cinci they received a warm greeting from the six-year-old four-legged friend. 

"She greeted us at the airport with a US dress on," Lavelle said. "We got a picture of that and it turned into a very big hit."

"Like every bulldog she's stubborn, which is fun," Lavelle said, "I honestly feel like she's the dog version of myself - she's my sister."

Washington Spirit vs NC Courage: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

Washington Spirit vs NC Courage: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

With playoffs on the line, the Washington Spirit hosts the NC Courage in a must-win regular-season home finale Saturday night.

NC Courage sits high atop their first-place throne with an icy six-win streak, 14-4--4 record overall leading the NWSL with 46 points, 31 goal differential, 50 goals for and 19 goals against. The struggling Spirit, with one win, one loss and three draws in their past five matches, need to find a way to crack the Courage and tack on another win to keep postseason hopes alive.

Mallory Pugh has made strong moves for the Spirit since returning from injury and will be a key player to breakthrough the Courage defense with nine clean sheets (just one more than Washington) and averaging 0.9 goals allowed per game.

The Spirit cannot afford to lose this game if they want to snag a playoff spot, and that chase continues in Maryland.

SPIRIT-COURAGE GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Spirit vs. NC Courage

Where: Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, MD

When: Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington 

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Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

The Washington Spirit will make their way to Houston in hopes to secure three points against the Houston Dash on Wednesday night.  

The Spirit are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, dropping them to 7W-8L-5D. 

For the first time in quite a while, both midfielder Rose Lavelle and forward Mallory Pugh took the field against the Red Stars. Lavelle returned to the lineup after suffering a head injury a few months ago and played 45 minutes in her first game since August 17. 

During the 80th minute, Pugh scored her first goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to take the lead over the Dash. 

Wednesday nights game will be Washington’s first time as a part of the NWSL’s new broadcast deal with ESPN. 

Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 

SPIRIT-DASH GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash 

Where: BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX

When: Wednesday, September 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2 

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