CHICAGO – The Red Stars finished the regular season with a 3-1 defeat in Portland. After securing a playoff spot last weekend, Chicago saw a completely new lineup for the road match. Sofia Huerta notched her sixth goal of the season.
Portland began the game with a spark of energy, notching the first goal two minutes into the match. Chicago defender Sam Johnson had pressure on her back and played a pass back to goalkeeper Michele Dalton. Dalton controlled, but a poor pass out fell to the feet of forward Hayley Raso. Taking a touch, Raso slotted the ball just behind Dalton for a 1-0 lead.
Nearly 10 minutes later, Portland pushed their lead to two after a clearance by Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden fell to Thorns Ashleigh Sykes who rebounded the ball and took a shot that hit the back of the net, earning Portland a 2-0 score.
Despite leading by two goals, Portland continued to pressure Chicago. The Thorns nearly got a third goal after Nadia Nadim headed a ball down toward the goal, but it landed just wide to send the Red Stars into halftime down 2-0.
Chicago stood their ground in the second half with multiple chances put against them. Substitute Tobin Heath had a point blank chance in the six-yard box, but her shot was deflected by Gorden. The deflection went straight back to Heath’s feet, but defender Taylor Comeau came to dispose the ball out of danger.
The Red Stars attack was still pushing for control, and regained some momentum in the 72nd minute thanks to second half substitute Huerta. Vanessa DiBernrado found an open shot from the edge of the 18, bouncing off the crossbar. After Portland picked up the ball, Huerta stole it back and took a shot 25 yards out, finding the back of the net to narrow the scoreline to 2-1.
Chicago would lose their edge after a foul in the box gave Portland a penalty kick in the 83rd minute. Nadim stepped up and put it past Dalton to bring the game to a 3-1 difference.
The Red Stars will await their semifinal opponent, as both Chicago and Portland wait for Orlando’s result against North Carolina. The NWSL semifinals will take place on October 7 and 8, at 2:30 p.m. CT on Lifetime.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC
DATE: September 30, 2017
VENUE: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
KICKOFF: 2:30 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 63 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 0 1 1
POR 2 1 3
POR – Hayley Raso 2’
POR – Ashleigh Sykes 13’
CHI – Sofia Huerta 72’
POR – Nadia Nadim (penalty kick) 83’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 18-Michele Dalton; 14-Sarah Gorden, 5-Katie Naughton, 16-Sam Johnson (24-Danielle Colaprico, 21), 3-Arin Gilliland; 7-Taylor Comeau, 30-Lauren Kaskie, 4-Alyssa Mautz, 10-Vanessa DiBernrado (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 72); 9-Stephanie McCaffrey, 19-Summer Green (11-Sofia Huerta, 59)
Substitutes: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 2-Jen Hoy, 6-Casey Short, 8-Julie Ertz
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Portland Thorns FC Lineup: 24-Adrianna Franch; 2-Katherine Reynolds, 16-Emily Sonnett, 4-Emily Menges, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (11-Dagny Brynjarsdottir, 46); 28-Amandine Henry (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Lindsey Horan, 14-Ashleigh Sykes, 12-Christine Sinclair (capt.), 9-Nadia Nadim, 21-Hayley Raso (10-Allie Long, 46)
Substitutes: 13-Savannah Jordan, 26-Mallory Weber, 30-Celeste Boureille, 33-Britt Eckerstrom
Head Coach: Mark Parsons
Stats Summary: CHI / POR
Shots on Goal: 2/8
Corner Kicks: 4/8
CHI – Arin Gilliland (caution) 25’
CHI – Lauren Kaskie (caution) 33’
POR – Amandine Henry (caution) 42’
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Asst. Referee: Maggie Short, Shane Kennard
4th Official: Jason Perlewitz