CHICAGO – The Red Stars look to seal a NWSL Championship spot in North Carolina when they take on the Courage in game two of the semifinals on Sunday, October 8. Kickoff will be broadcast live on Lifetime at 2:30 p.m. CT.
During Week 23 of play, North Carolina locked in the Supporter’s Shield, having a total of 49 points after a 16-7-1 record.
In the final week of the regular season, the Courage hosted the Orlando Pride, and ended their season with a 2-3 loss. The Pride took the lead in the 22nd minute off a Kristen Edmonds goal, then upped the lead early in the second half thanks to Marta.
North Carolina equalized with a Lynn Williams brace coming just five minutes apart. Just seconds left in the match, Orlando was awarded a free kick just outside the box, where Alanna Kennedy slotted home the game winner.
Chicago finished their regular season on the road against the Portland Thorns. By halftime, the Red Stars found themselves down 2-0 after Hayley Raso scored two minutes into the match and Ashleigh Sykes scored just ten minutes later.
Chicago eventually brought the game closer after Sofia Huerta tallied her sixth goal of the season. However, the moment did not last long as the Thorns received a late penalty kick and ended the match 3-1.
Despite the final match of the season being a loss, the Red Stars are still positive and are looking forward to post season.
“We’ve got a focused group this year,” said Chicago head coach Rory Dames. “This group never lost focus of what our end objective is.”
Captain Christen Press will help lead the team through the Playoffs for the third season in a row. “This is the best Red Stars team we’ve had going into the Playoffs,” said Press. “It’s very difficult to be in the top four in this tough league. There are no easy games; every single game we’ve played this year was close.”
The winner of the Chicago vs. North Carolina Semifinal will play the winner between Portland and Orlando in the 2017 NWSL Final on Saturday, October 14, at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. CT and broadcast live on Lifetime.