CHICAGO – The Red Stars fell 0-1 to a 90th minute goal from the North Carolina Courage, ending their run to the National Women’s Soccer League Finals.
The first half ended in a 0-0 scoreline, but not without opportunities by both teams. North Carolina outshot Chicago eight to four, with both teams earning a shot on goal.
The Red Stars took advantage early off a corner kick. Sailing to the top of the box, Julie Ertz headed the ball down toward the goal, where Jen Hoy was able to get her foot on the ball, but the ball went just wide of the net.
Just before halftime, North Carolina got their first true look at a goal, but the Chicago backline smothered the chance. Positioned wide, Samantha Mewis sent a lobbed ball to the far post, where captain Abby Erceg was able to head the ball down past Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Just before the ball was able to pass the goal line, defender Katie Naughton cleared the ball from any danger, keeping the scoreless draw alive.
With North Carolina taking control of most of the second half, it wasn’t until the final minute of the match that they took the lead.
After a corner kick attempt, midfielder Denise O’Sullivan ran onto a deflected ball at the top of the box. O’Sullivan struck the ball toward goal and, after deflecting off Ertz’ leg, found the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Down with seconds remaining, the Red Stars had a final chance to equalize off a free kick. Naeher took the free kick, pushing all field players into the box. The ball bounced inside the box, but North Carolina was there to make the goal line save, sealing their victory.
North Carolina will take on Portland on Saturday, October 14, at 3:30 p.m. CT at Orlando City Stadium for the NWSL Finals.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage
DATE: October 8, 2017
VENUE: Sahlen’s Stadium; Cary, North Carolina
KICKOFF: 2:30 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 77 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 0 0 0
NC 0 1 1
NC – Denise O’Sullivan 90’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 3-Arin Gilliland, 5-Katie Naughton, 16-Samantha Johnson (9-Stephanie McCaffrey, 90+3), 6-Casey Short; 8-Julie Ertz, 24-Danielle Colaprico (4-Alyssa Mautz, 90+3), 10-Vanessa DiBernardo; 11-Sofia Huerta, 23-Christen Press (capt.), 2-Jen Hoy (12-Yuki Nagasato, 57)
Substitutes: 7-Taylor Comeau, 18-Michele Dalton, 19-Summer Green
Head Coach: Rory Dames
North Carolina Courage Lineup: 0-Katelyn Rowland; 15-Jaelene Hinkle, 6-Abby Erceg (capt.), 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 11-Taylor Smith; 7-McCall Zerboni, 5-Samantha Mewis; 10-Debinha (23-Kristen Hamilton, 10), 8-Denise O’Sullivan; 9-Lynn Williams, 12-Ashley Hatch (14-Jessica McDonald, 83)
Substitutes: 1-Sabrina D’Angelo, 2-Nora Holstad, 3-Makenzy Doniak, 25-Meredith Speck, 26-Sam Witteman
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Stats Summary: CHI / NC
Shots on Goal: 1/5
Corner Kicks: 1/9
CHI – Danielle Colaprico (caution) 36’
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Asst. Referees: Brooke Mayo, Maggie Short
4th Official: Kevin Broadley