CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars fell 2-0 to home side Houston Dash in the two sides’ 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season opener on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
In the first five minute of the match, Houston’s captain Kaelia Ohai took a shot after getting by Chicago’s defensive line, but a weak shot led to an easy save for Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
The Red Stars put on heavy pressure in the first half with a majority of the possession in Chicago’s favor. Forward Stephanie McCaffrey found an opening off a poor clearance by Houston and struck the ball, but the ball bounced off the post. Houston immediately countered and sent the ball up field where Amber Brooks found Ohai making a run, using her speed to get past the backline to slot the ball into the bottom left corner, marking the first goal of the match.
In the final seconds of the first half, Jen Hoy found herself with the ball inside the six-yard box off a cross from Christen Press, but couldn’t keep it down as the offside flag was raised, sending Chicago into the half down to Houston, 1-0.
It would be Houston once again leading with the pressure to open the half when Ohai tested Naeher on the near post, but once again Naeher continued to be alert for a save.
In the 58th minute, Hoy dribbled toward the end line, crossing it toward the box for Press, but Janine Van Wyk was there for a sliding block off the shot from Press.
Houston continued to test the Red Stars backline as Poliana lobbed a ball into the box and found the head of Sarah Hagen, who directed it down toward goal, but Chicago defender Samantha Johnson was there to clear the dangerous ball off the line after an initial save from Naeher.
Chicago nearly found the back of the net with a cross into the box from Hoy, finding the feet of substitute Sofia Huerta, who hit a rocket shot on frame, but her shot ended up right in the hands of Lydia Williams.
In the 80th minute, Houston’s Rachel Daly found herself alone with Chicago defender Casey Short, making a move to her left and curled the ball into the upper 90 past a diving Naeher to widen the scoreline.
Chicago’s pressure and attack wasn’t enough in the final ten minutes, as the Dash kept the lead, ending the match 2-0.
The Chicago Red Stars return to Toyota Park for their home opener on April 22 at 3 p.m. CT as they take on FC Kansas City (go90, NWSLSoccer.com, NWSL app). Tickets are available here or by calling 773-697-8699.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash
DATE: April 15, 2017
VENUE: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
KICKOFF: 1 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 81 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 0 0 0
HOU 1 1 2
HOU – Kaelia Ohai (Amber Brooks) 15’
HOU – Rachel Daly (Kaelia Ohai) 80’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Samantha Johnson, 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Arin Gilliland (7-Taylor Comeau, 46), 6-Casey Short; 24-Danielle Colaprico, 4-Alyssa Mautz, 10-Vanessa DiBernardo, 2-Jen Hoy (19-Summer Green, 79), 9-Stephanie McCaffrey (11-Sofia Huerta, 58), 23-Christen Press (capt.)
Substitutes: 5-Katie Naughton, 13-Morgan Proffitt,, 18-Michele Dalton, 30-Lauren Kaskie, 34-Mary Luba
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Houston Dash Lineup: 18-Lydia Williams; 2-Poliana, 4-Bruna, 55-Janine Van Wyk, 5-Cari Roccaro; 17-Andressa (9-Sarah Hagen, 68), 12-Amber Brooks, 13-Denise O’Sullivan; 16-Janine Beckie (8-Claire Falknor, 68), 3-Rachel Daly, 7-Kaelia Ohai (capt.) (23-Cambria Privett, 88)
Substitutes: 21-Melissa Henderson, 22-Stephanie Ochs, 24-Jane Campbell, 27-Caity Heap
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: CHI / HOU
Shots on Goal: 12/10
Corner Kicks: 4/6
CHI – Alyssa Mautz (caution) 29’
HOU – Bruna (caution) 56’
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Asst. Referees: Eduardo Jeff, Daniel Gutierrez
4th Official: Diego Blas