CHICAGO – The Red Stars continued a three-game undefeated streak after a 2-0 shutout victory against visiting Utah Royals FC. Katie Naughton notched the first goal as Vanessa DiBernardo scored minutes later.
Both Chicago and Utah got off to a great start as the Red Stars’ Sam Kerr headed a ball down to set up Yuki Nagasato for a shot, but the ball skidded just wide of the post. Moments later, Nagasato had another effort find its way right to Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith for the save off a great kickback pass from Kerr in the box.
On the other end, Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was called upon as Katrina Gorry headed a point blank shot toward the goal with Naeher making the diving save.
Sharing nearly identical stats in the first half, both teams were able to capitalize on their chances, creating a 0-0 stalemate leading into the second half.
The Red Stars took control of the second half, pressuring up the field. Early on, Chicago saw a great series of passes that ended with Naughton narrowly missing the crossbar with her strike.
On a counter, Chicago’s Kerr was posted inside the box, receiving a perfectly timed ball. Her header landed straight in the goalkeeper lap, only to bounce out. While on the ground, Kerr headed the ball again, trying to sneak it by, only to be saved once more.
But the home side was able to net two goals in eight minutes as defender Naughton tallied her first goal of her career off a set-piece header. After minutes into her second game of the season, DiBernardo controlled a pass at the top of the box and sent it past a diving Smith for the 2-0 lead, finishing the match.
The Red Stars will finish a three-game home stand as they host Washington Spirit on Sunday, July 1. The match will kick off at 5 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on the NWSL app and the go90 app. Tickets are available here.
Katie Naughton (62’) – Chicago found the go-ahead goal after a handball awarded the home side a free kick. Danielle Colaprico stepped up and sent a flighted ball inside the box. Defender Naughton rose above the rest, heading the ball well out of the reach of goalkeeper Abby Smith for her first career goal.
Vanessa DiBernardo (70’) – Just four minutes into her second game of the season, DiBernardo added to the Red Stars lead with her seventh goal of her career. Sam Kerr found DiBernardo wide open at the top of the box, where the midfielder controlled the pass and struck the ball past a diving Abby Smith.
Alyssa Naeher (12’) – As Chicago earned most of the possession early on, Utah found space and nearly gained the lead. With it stretched wide, the ball was lofted into the box to a wide open Katrina Gorry. The midfielder headed the ball on goal, but Naeher was able to make the miraculous diving save to keep Utah at bay.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Utah Royals FC
DATE: June 23, 2018
VENUE: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 79 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 0 2 2
UTA 0 0 0
CHI – Katie Naughton (Danielle Colaprico) 62’
CHI – Vanessa DiBernardo (Sam Kerr) 70’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher (capt.); 6-Casey Short (14-Sarah Gorden, 46), 5-Katie Naughton, 3-Arin Gilliland; 24-Danielle Colaprico, 8-Julie Ertz (capt.), 2-Nikki Stanton, 12-Yuki Nagasato, 4-Alyssa Mautz; 15-Michele Vasconcelos (10-Vanessa DiBernardo, 66), 20-Sam Kerr
Substitutes: 19-Summer Green, 21-Emily Boyd, 22-Rosie White, 23-Brooke Elby
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Utah Royals FC Lineup: 1-Abby Smith; 2-Rachel Corsie, 3-Becca Moros, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 6-Katie Bowen; 8-Amy Rodriguez (20-Elise Thorsnes, 82), 10-Diana Matheson (9-Lo’eau Labonta, 76), 11-Desiree Scott, 19-Katrina Gorry, 23-Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, 25-Brittany Ratcliffe (24-Katie Stengel, 70)
Substitutes: 12-Taylor Lytle, 15-Erika Tymrak, 17-Sydney Miramontez, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Laura Harvey
Stats Summary: CHI / UTA
Shots on Goal: 6/3
Corner Kicks: 2/1
CHI – Yuki Nagasato (caution) 87’
Referee: Natalie Simon
Asst. Referee: Maggie Short, Jeffrey Swartzel
4th Official: Adam Behrens