CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars fell 2-0 against North Carolina in the National Women’s Soccer League Semifinal match for the second-consecutive year.
The Red Stars nearly found themselves with the lead in the first few minutes after Yuki Nagasato’s one-touch strike bounced off the crossbar and out of danger for North Carolina.
However, it would be the Courage who scored the early goal. Jessica McDonald found room around defender Julie Ertz, making her way into the box to toe-poke it past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to give the Courage a 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later Sam Kerr neatly found Chicago’s equalizer as her quick shot ricocheted off the far post, resulting in the second close miss for Chicago.
Despite not getting many more threats from the Courage offense outside of the first 10 minutes, the Red Stars defense stood strong in the first half, keeping the Courage to a 1-0 lead at halftime.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game Samantha Mewis pushed North Carolina to victory with a shot from distance, securing the 2-0 win.
During the second half, the Red Stars continued its dominance with possession, but taking control of the ball and two shots on goal were not enough to find the lead, let alone an equalizer to force extra time, advancing North Carolina to the finals against Portland this weekend.
CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage
DATE: Tuesday, September 18; 8:00 p.m. CT
VENUE: Providence Park; Portland, OR
BROADCAST: ESPNEWS, NWSLsoccer.com
WEATHER: 68 degrees, partly cloudy
SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 F
CHI 0 0 0
NCC 1 1 2
NCC – Jessica McDonald (Crystal Dunn) 5’
NCC – Samantha Mewis (Crystal Dunn) 86’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 6-Casey Short, 8-Julie Ertz (capt.), 5-Katie Naughton, 3-Arin Gilliland; 10-Vanessa DiBernardo (22-Rosie White, 87), 13-Morgan Brian, 24-Danielle Colaprico, 4-Alyssa Mautz (15-Michele Vasconcelos, 81); 12-Yuki Nagasato, 20-Sam Kerr
Substitutes: 2-Nikki Stanton, 14-Sarah Gorden, 19-Summer Green, 21-Emily Boyd, 23-Brooke Elby
Head coach: Rory Dames
North Carolina Courage Lineup: 1-Sabrina D’Angelo; 15-Jaelene Hinkle, 6-Abby Erceg (capt.), 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 11-Merritt Mathias (17-Heather O’Reilly, 89); 10-Debinha (23-Kristen Hamilton, 87), 8-Denise O’Sullivan, 5-Sam Mewis, 19-Crystal Dunn; 9-Lynn Williams, 14-Jessica McDonald
Substitutes: 0-Katelyn Rowland, 16-Cari Roccaro, 21-Darian Jenkins, 25-Meredith Speck, 31-Kaleigh Kurz
Head coach: Paul Riley
STATS SUMMARY: CHI/NCC
Shots on Goal: 4/7
NCC – Merritt Mathias (caution) 72’
Referee: Timothy Ford
Assistant Referees: Maggie Short, Tom Felice
4th Official: Lukasz Szpala