CHICAGO – The Sam Kerr show is back and running beautifully for the Chicago Red Stars as the forward scores a hat trick in her return from the World Cup to carry Chicago to a 3-2 victory over the Orlando Pride.
7’ Seventh Heaven for Kerr, who doesn’t waste time making an impact on her return. Kopmeyer tries to play the ball out to the defense following a goal kick, but Kerr pickpockets the defense and fires a shot into the back of the net to give Chicago the early lead and Kerr her seventh goal in as many NWSL games.
11’ Marta tries to answer right away for Orlando. She makes a great pass to Carson Pickett who gets a point-blank shot and Emily Boyd makes a great save.
22’ An unfortunate touch by Boyd leaves the ball loose and Chioma Ubogagu was able to win the ball and tuck the ball into the back of the net for the equalizer.
32’ Casey Short beats Toni Pressley to the ball just outside of the corner flag. Short patiently waits for space and nutmegs Pressley as Short fires a low driven shot that’s deflected by Kopmeyer. Nagasato gets a great touch to control the ball but the shot is just high.
45+3’ The international connection returns. Nagasato gets her head to the ball first off a goal kick and heads it directly to Kerr with a clear path to the goal. The Aussie superstar buries the ball to give her a brace on the night and give the Red Stars the lead once again.
51’ Another sloppy mistake nearly leads for the third goal for Kerr tonight. Pressley again plays a dangerous pass in her own half and it’s stolen by Kerr. Her shot is saved and Nagasato is able to get to the ball first, but the shot is deflected before she could get her shot off.
55’ HAT TRICK FOR KERR. The Chicago superstar has a wonderful run after winning the ball near midfield. She dashes past four defenders, gets space near the edge of the 18-yard box and gets a beautiful shot off that beats Kopmeyer and gives Kerr her 9th goal of the season.
73’ Kerr is inches away from getting the fourth. McCaskill gets the chance started with a fantastic run and hits a pinpoint pass to Nagasato, who crosses it to the far post. Kerr heads it towards goal but Orlando’s defense is in the right place at the right time and just prevents the ball from crossing the goal line.
79’ Marta gets one back for Orlando from a penalty kick. Camila is tripped up in the box, allowing Marta to step up to the line and put Orlando within one.
90+4’ Kerr tries to seal the game with a shot all the way from her own half of the field. Kopmeyer is off her line but is able to recover and just push the ball away from the goal in the final second.
- The hat-trick was Sam Kerr’s first of the season. She now has nine goals in seven games in 2019, leading the NWSL Golden Boot Race. Kerr marked the first hat-trick in Red Stars history in 2018 after scoring three goals against Sky Blue FC on the road on July 7.
- Kerr’s seven shots on target were the joint-most of any player in a game in the last four NWSL seasons.
- Coming on as a substitute in the 89th minute, Katie Johnson reached her 50th NWSL appearance. She made 23 appearances with Reign FC, 19 with Sky Blue FC and eight this season with Chicago.
- Nikki Stanton was a rock defensively. She was tied for the team lead with five tackles and led the team with 11 possessions gained. Stanton also led the team in passes with 54 and had an 87% passing accuracy.
- Sam Kerr’s return meant Chicago had plenty of scoring chances. The Red Stars had 20 shots in the game, more than doubling Orlando’s total of six.
- The victory allows Chicago to leapfrog Houston for sixth place in the NWSL Standings.
- Since Orlando was founded in 2017, Chicago has yet to lose a game when visiting the Pride. They have a record of 3-0-1 all-time as the visitors.
The Red Stars return to SeatGeek Stadium to face Sky Blue FC on Saturday, July 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm CT
Orlando Pride vs Chicago Red Stars
June 30, 2019 – Exploria Stadium (Orlando, FL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Orlando Pride 1 1 2
Chicago Red Stars 2 1 3
CHI Sam Kerr (7’) (unassisted)
ORL Chioma Ubogagu (22’) (unassisted)
CHI Sam Kerr (45+3’) (assist: Nagasato)
CHI Sam Kerr (55’) (assist: Vasconcelos)
ORL Marta (79’) (penalty kick goal)
CHI – Yellow Card: Colaprico (61’)
ORL – Yellow Card: Camila (87’)
CHI – GK Emily Boyd, Arin Wright, Sarah Gorden, Katie Naughton (Elby 46’), Casey Short, Danielle Colaprico, Nikkie Stanton, Vanessa DiBernardo ©, Yuki Nagasato (Johnson 89’), Michele Vasconcelos (McCaskill 70’), Sam Kerr
ORL – GK Haley Kopmeyer, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley ©, Morgan Reid (Elinsky 62’), Erin Greening, Marisa Viggiano, Bridgett Callahan (Camila 16’), Joanna Boyles, Chioma Ubogagu, Rachel Hill (Evans 81’), Marta
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.