CHICAGO – The Red Stars defeated the Dash 1-0, in the second contest of the Thorns Spring Invitational. Sofia Huerta tallied for Chicago, as Sam Kerr earned her first assist with the Red Stars.
In the first 10 minutes, Chicago took the lead as Huerta notched her first goal of the preseason. With a perfectly weighted cross inside the box from Kerr, Huerta received the ball far post, cut it past her defender and slotted it just past the goalkeeper for the early lead.
Minutes later, Houston nearly equalized as Thembi Kgatlana’s strike from inside the six-yard box struck the goal post and then was cleared by Sam Johnson, leaving Chicago with the 1-0 lead.
In the remaining minutes of the first half, Red Stars showed multiple chances to further the lead, but was unable to execute. Rookie Megan Buckingham was able to get a piece of Huerta’s free kick inside the box, but the header attempt was saved. As a scramble ensued inside the box, both Yuki Nagasato and Kerr were able to get a shot off, but both were deflected.
With a shot difference 10-5, Red Stars continued its 1-0 lead into halftime.
With much of the action in the second half going back and forth, multiple substitutes were made from both sides.
The skills of Alyssa Naeher were called upon in the final minutes of the match, as a diving, one-handed save kept Houston off the board and gave Chicago the victory.
The Red Stars final game of the tournament will take place on Saturday, March 17, when the team takes on the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team. Live updates with be available on the Chicago Red Stars PR Twitter: @chiredstarsPR.
Red Stars Starting XI (substitutes):
GK – Alyssa Naeher (capt.)
D – Megan Buckingham
D – Sam Johnson (Katie Naughton, 45)
D – Sarah Gorden
D – Arin Gilliland
M – Sofia Huerta
M – Lauren Kaskie (Michele Vasconcelos, 73)
M – Nikki Stanton
M – Alyssa Mautz (Summer Green, 65)
F – Yuki Nagasato (Danielle Colaprico, 60)
F – Sam Kerr (Stephanie McCaffrey, 79)