Hempstead, NY (July 23, 2012) – In spite of an early high-pressured attack by the Red Stars in the first half of play Sunday night, they found themselves down a goal in just the 6th minute before mustering a goal back off the foot of 18-year-old Ashleigh Ellenwood, unassisted in the 10th minute of the match at Hofstra University in Long Island.
The Red Stars pressed early and kept Fury goalkeeper Michelle Betos on the move with several close-range efforts in the first 10 minutes. But the Fury would be the first team on the scoreboard when in the 6th minute they were able to pull Red Stars’ goalkeeper Jamie Forbes towards to the endline and put a cross over her head. Fury’s Meghan Lenczyk connected on the cross that bounced towards the Red Stars’ goal line. Chicago Defender Jackie Santacaterina moved to position herself inside the goal-line and appeared to head the ball off the line and back into the field, but the sideline ref saw it otherwise and allowed the Fury their only tally of the night.
“I thought I got myself in a good position inside the goal to block the ball from crossing the line,” stated Santacaterina. “I’m obviously disappointed that it was called a goal, but we quickly worked ourselves back into the match to tie it up.”
It was nearly Red Stars’ forward Ella Masar that put away the equalizer just one minute later, but she suffered a cruelty of inches when she blasted a shot that ricocheted off the inside of the left post, then hit the right post and came back onto the field of play, denying the Red Stars an immediate opportunity to tie the game.
Two minutes later, the Red Stars were able to send a through-ball to Lori Chalupny, who made a quick turn from the penalty spot and hit a low shot to the right of the keeper. Betos made a quick reaction and got her hand on it for the save. But she would not be able to stop the mighty blast of Ashleigh Ellenwood in the 11th minute, when she dribbled her way towards the net and earned an unassisted goal, her first of the season.
Each team found themselves additional chances scattered throughout the remainder of the match, even as play began to get scrappy late in the 2nd half. But the 1-1 scoreline would hold up, giving the Fury a 3rd place regular season standing, and the Red Stars a 4th place standing.
The 4th place position will pit the Red Stars against 1st place Boston Breakers on Wednesday at 8pm ET in the WPSL Elite Semifinals. In the other bracket, 2nd place WNY Flash, the Championship-site hosts, will be meeting NY Fury at 5pm ET. The final is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 28th, at Noon ET.
Tickets for the Championship matches are available online now at www.wnyflash.com and the games are slated to be available via live webcast.
Shots: Red Stars 7, Fury 9
Shots on Goal: Red Stars 6, Fury 4
Corners: Red Stars 3, Fury 2
GOALS: Fury’s Meghan Lenczyk (Unassisted) 6’, Red Stars’ Ashleigh Ellenwood (Unassisted) 11’
Chicago: Jamie Forbes GK, Michelle Wenino, Jackie Santacaterina, Julianne Sitch, Lauren Alkek, Lori Chalupny, Jen Buczkowski, Alyssa Mautz, Shayla Mutz (Michele Weissenhofer 45’), Ella Masar, Ashleigh Ellenwood (Lindsay Schwartz 83’)
NY: Michelle Betos (GK), Nikki Krzysik (Jazmyne Avant 79’), Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Kim Yokers, Merritt Matthias, Leigh Ann Robinson, Allie Long (Salma Tarik 82’), Gina DiMartino (Casey Noguiera 48’), Sinead Farrelly, Meghan Lenczyk (Jasmyne Spencer 65’)
The WPSL Elite League is new in 2012. The 8-team league is ASA Chesapeake Charge, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, New York Fury, Philadelphia Fever, and WNY Flash.
Join our mailing list at www.chicagoredstars.com for details and follow the team on twitter @chicagoredstars and facebook.com/chicagoredstars.