CHICAGO – The Red Stars finished their last home game at Toyota Park with 2-1 victory against the North Carolina Courage. Yuki Nagasato earned her first goal and assist for Chicago, while Julie Ertz tallied her fourth goal and Christen Press collected her fourth assist this season.
North Carolina took control early on, releasing multiple possibilities toward the goal. The Courage had a promising look in the 13th minute, as Jessica McDonald cut behind the Chicago defense to receive the ball. Taking a touch to shoot, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came off her lines to make a diving deflection.
Just minutes later, North Carolina took the lead. After dispossessing Christen Press near midfield, McDonald picked up the loose ball and played it through to Lynn Williams, who was running into the box. Williams slid the ball past a diving Naeher to bring the Courage up 1-0.
Despite ending the half down by one, Chicago showcased some good chances inside the 18-yard box. Press had the best opportunity in the 31st minute after volleying a deflected ball, but the ball flew just inches over the crossbar.
Straight out of halftime, the Courage put on the pressure, nearly upping the scoreline. Denise O’Sullivan was able to take the ball into the box, creeping closer to the net. Naeher came off her line to smother it, but was unable to fully connect with the ball. Just feet from the goal, O’Sullivan narrowly got her foot on the ball into the open net, but Sofia Huerta was there to clear the dangerous opportunity.
In the 52nd minute, Julie Ertz dispossessed midfielder Sam Mewis, landing at the feet of Press. Taking a touch into the box, Press cut the ball back to Yuki Nagasato, who tapped it into the net for her first goal of the season, equalizing the match.
Chicago kept putting on the pressure and would take the lead for the first time in the 84th minute. Nagasato controlled the ball wide of the 18-yard box, chipping it toward goal. Ertz was able to head the ball, redirecting it to the far post, where Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland had no chance of saving it.
Chicago remains the only team to have not lost against the current NWSL number one North Carolina Courage.
The Red Stars will take to the road for their final three matches, starting with visiting FC Kansas City on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 3:30 p.m. CT for Lifetime’s Game of the Week.
– CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT –
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage
DATE: September 3, 2017
VENUE: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
KICKOFF: 5 p.m. CT
WEATHER: 80 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CHI 0 2 2
NC 1 0 1
NC – Lynn Williams (Jessica McDonald) 15’
CHI – Yuki Nagasato (Christen Press) 52’
CHI – Julie Ertz (Yuki Nagasato) 84’
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 3-Arin Gilliland, 5-Katie Naughton, 16-Samantha Johnson, 6-Casey Short; 8-Julie Ertz, 24-Danielle Colaprico, 4-Alyssa Mautz (12-Yuki Nagasato, 46), 7-Taylor Comeau (13-Morgan Brian, 64); 11-Sofia Huerta, 23-Christen Press (capt.)
Substitutes: 2-Jen Hoy, 9-Stephanie McCaffrey, 10-Vanessa DiBernardo, 14-Sarah Gorden, 18-Michele Dalton, 30-Lauren Kaskie
Head Coach: Rory Dames
North Carolina Courage Lineup: 99-Katelyn Rowland; 6-Abby Erceg (capt.), 11-Taylor Smith, 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 15-Jalene Hinkle; 5-Samantha Mewis, 7-McCall Zerboni; 8-Denise O’Sullivan (10-Debinha, 78), 9-Lynn Williams, 14-Jessica McDonald (12-Ashley Hatch, 72), 23-Kristen Hamilton
Substitutes: 1-Sabrina D’Angelo, 3-Makenzy Doniak, 4-Elizabeth Eddy, 25-Meredith Speck, 26-Sam Witteman
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Stats Summary: CHI / NC
Shots on Goal: 3/6
Corner Kicks: 0/8
CHI – Danielle Colaprico (caution) 40’
CHI – Julie Ertz (caution) 73’
NC – McCall Zerboni (caution) 77’
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Asst. Referees: Adrienne McDonald, Amilcar Sicaju
4th Official: Carlos Rodriguez