Defeat Fighting Irish 1-0 behind Huerta goal, stay perfect in 2015

Notre Dame, Indiana – The Chicago Red Stars concluded their NWSL preseason with their fifth win in as many matches on Wednesday evening, downing hosts University of Notre Dame 1-0 behind an early Sofia Huerta strike and a gritty team performance. With goalkeeper Michele Dalton recording the shutout for Chicago, Head Coach Rory Dames’ side has yet to concede a goal in all of 2015.

For the second consecutive time, the Red Stars caught their opposition off guard in the first minute of play. After doing well to intercept the ball, forward Jen Hoy dribbled up the field and laid it off to rookie Huerta, who rifled home to make it 1-0.

The early attacking fireworks were not an indicator of things to come, as both teams subsequently settled into their defensive shapes and allowed few opportunities for the remainder of the half. The best one came just before the break, as Chicago defender Samantha Johnson’s long ball released Huerta and the striker opted to set up Hoy, whose attempt was kept out courtesy of a spectacular save by the Notre Dame goalkeeper.

In a hard-fought affair, the second half much resembled the first, with both teams focusing on their organization and tactical discipline. The Fighting Irish created the first promising look on a 53rd-minute corner kick, the ball finding a wide-open player at the top of the box, only for the ensuing attempt to sail high and wide of the frame

The Red Stars nearly doubled their lead ten minutes later. A Danielle Colaprico corner kick was sent back out to the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder, who curled another cross into the area. Substitute Cara Walls did well to battle for the ball and hit a determined drive that whistled dangerously past the outside of the post. It would be the final opportunity of the match, as the NWSL side held on for the narrow victory.

The Chicago Red Stars hope to build on their perfect preseason record when they take on Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Shield holders Seattle Reign FC in their big home opener on April 18. Single-game and season tickets may be purchased by clicking here or by calling 773-698-6001.

Chicago Red Stars at University of Notre Dame 1-0
Venue: Alumni Stadium, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
Kickoff time: 6 p.m. CT

Red Stars starting lineup:
Michele Dalton, Rachel Quon, Taryn Hemmings, Samantha Johnson, Arin Gilliland, Danielle Colaprico, Mary Luba, Vanessa DiBernardo, Alyssa Mautz, Sofia Huerta, Jen Hoy

Goal: 1-0 Huerta (1’)

Red Stars Cautions/Ejections: Johnson – caution (41’)

Red Stars substitutions:
Cara Walls for Alyssa Mautz (46’)
Michelle Lomnicki for Mary Luba (46’)
Kelley McCloskey for Michelle Lomnicki (75’)
Rachel Tejada for Jen Hoy (83’)

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