CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars fell to the Washington Spirit 2-1 in their opening match of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. Morgan Gautrat scored Chicago’s first goal of the tournament in the 51st minute, finishing a shot in the bottom left corner past the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, Aubrey Bledsoe. The Red Stars also had some impressive NWSL debutants in Bianca St. Georges and Zoe Morse, both earning the start for the Red Stars on Saturday.
7’ – Rose Lavelle shoots from the middle of the box towards the top-right corner and converts it past Alyssa Naeher to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead in the first half.
45’ – The Spirit’s Ashley Hatch gets the best of Naeher after an attempt to clear the ball ricochets and slots it to the center of the net to extend Washington’s lead early in the second half.
50’ – Vanessa DiBernardo’s shot attempt gets blocked, but finds an attacking Morgan Gautrat and leads to a right-footed goal past Aubrey Bledsoe’s bottom left hand side to bring the Red Stars within a goal of Washington.
88’ – Bianca St. Georges nearly scored her first career NWSL goal to tie the game, but was met by a diving Bledsoe for a near post save.
90 + 1’ – Washington’s Averie Collins looked to put the game out of reach on a header from the right side of the six yard box, however Naeher made a near point-blank save pushing the ball over the net to give the Red Stars a chance in stoppage time.
- Sarah Gorden was a passing maestro throughout the game, finishing with a 90.6% passing accuracy and a 93.3% passing accuracy when in the opponent’s half of the field. Gordon would also finish with the team-leading four interceptions.
- Julie Ertz and Morgan Goutrat showed their defensive prowess in the midfield, with both tying for the team in tackles with four each.
- Vanessa DiBernardo spearheaded the Red Stars attack, leading the team with four created chances along with a successful cross.
- Bianca St. Georges led the team with 10 recoveries and had a passing accuracy of 89.1% overall and 81.8% in the opposing half, displaying high workrates up and down the pitch in her NWSL debut.
The Red Stars will play their second game in the NWSL Challenge Cup as the designated away team against the Portland Thorns on Wednesday, July 1st at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Spirit
June 28, 2020
Zions Bank Stadium (Herriman, UT)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 0 1 1
Washington Spirit 1 1 2
CHI: Morgan Gautrat 50’
WSH: Rose Lavelle 7’, Ashley Hatch 45’
WSH: GK Bledsoe, D McGrady (Bailey 63’), D Staab, D Nielsen, D Huster (Hellstrom 65’), M Lavelle (Daugherty Howard 64’), M Sullivan, M DiBiasi, F Sanchez, F Hatch, F Yokoyama (Feist 63’)
CHI: GK Naeher, D Short, D Gorden, D Morse, D St. Georges, M Ertz, M Gautrat, M Watt (McCaskill 77’), M DiBernardo (Johnson 77’), M Hill (Vasconcelos 72’), F Nagasato (Doniak 72’)