CHICAGO – The Red Stars finish their four-game road trip after a heated 2-2 draw against Sky Blue FC. Sofia Huerta found her third goal of the season as Christen Press saw her sixth, becoming the fourth all-time leading scorer in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Chicago opened the match with high pressure, earning multiple opportunities and capitalizing on Sky Blue’s uncontrolled passing. Chicago’s first attempt at a goal came in just the third minute, as a free kick was given to the Red Stars just outside the box. Captain Press took the shot, curling the ball around the defensive wall, but Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was able to punch it to safety.
But Chicago’s pressure paid off in the fourth minute, when a sloppy pass in the backline gave Press the ball. The forward found Huerta open in the center of the box, taking a touch and puts it right through the legs of Sheridan, giving Chicago the 1-0 lead.
With multiple opportunities taken place, the Red Stars were able to up the scoreline in the 26th minute. Nearly 25 yards from the goal, Vanessa DiBernardo found the ball, chipping it over the entire backline. Timing her run, Press met the ball with her chest, taking one touch to put it past Sheridan from close range, earning the second goal.
Minutes later, league scoring leader Sam Kerr lobbed a ball into the box at the far post. Midfielder Taylor Lytle headed the ball down to inch closer to the goal line. With a scramble in the box, Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came off her line to try to smother the ball. But before Naeher could get a hand on it, Sky Blue forward Maya Hayes put the ball behind Naeher to narrow the scoreline.
In final minutes of the first half, Kerr and Sarah Killion found their fair share of chances at a goal, but neither could find an equalizer to take into the locker room, leaving the first 45 minutes with Chicago on top, 2-1.
Starting the second half, Sky Blue controlled much of the possession, but little opportunities were found. But it was the dynamic duo of Press and Huerta up top that keep finding Chicago chances, each receiving a shot on goal in a matter of five minutes, both deflected by Sheridan.
But in second half stoppage time, Sky Blue wasn’t finished, as a Killion cross found the head of Kerr, who put it past a diving Naeher for the late equalizer, ending the match in a 2-2 draw.
Chicago returns home on Saturday, July 22 (2:30 p.m. CT) for NWSL’s Game of the Week against Alex Morgan and the Orlando Pride at Toyota Park. Get tickets here.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Sky Blue FC
DATE: July 15, 2017
VENUE: Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
KICKOFF: 6 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 86 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 2 0 2
SBFC 1 1 2
CHI – Sofia Huerta (Christen Press) 4’
CHI – Christen Press (Vanessa DiBernardo) 26’
SBFC – Maya Hayes 32’
SBFC – Sam Kerr (Sarah Killion) 90+4’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 6-Casey Short, 5-Katie Naughton, 3-Arin Gilliland, 16-Samantha Johnson (7-Taylor Comeau, 46); 11-Sofia Huerta, 4-Alyssa Mautz (30-Lauren Kaskie, 90+4), 10-Vanessa DiBernardo, 8-Julie Ertz, 24-Danielle Colaprico, 23-Christen Press (capt.)
Substitutes: 2-Jen Hoy, 9-Stephanie McCaffrey, 14-Sarah Gorden, 18-Michele Dalton, 19-Summer Green
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Sky Blue FC Lineup: 1-Kalien Sheridan; 19-Kelley O’Hara, 3-Christie Pearce (capt.), 8-Erica Skroski, 15-Kayla Mills (21-Leah Galton, 69); 10-Daphne Corboz, 16-Sarah Killion, 7-Nikki Stanton (11-Raquel Rodriguez, 56); 5-Maya Hayes (2-McKenzie Meehan, 78), 6-Taylor Lytle, 20-Samantha Kerr
Substitutes: 17-Dominique Richardson, 27-Caroline Casey, 32-Natasha Kai, 73-Madison Tiernan
Head Coach: Christy Holly
Stats Summary: CHI / SBFC
Shots on Goal: 10/8
Corner Kicks: 2/7
SBFC – Nikki Stanton (caution) 2’
SBFC – Sam Kerr (caution) 38’
SBFC – Erica Skroski (caution) 74’
SBFC – Kelley O’Hara (caution) 79’
Referee: Robi Hullner
Asst. Referees: Matthew Osterhouse, Ian McKay
4th Official: Joe Zawistowski