Chicago draws in North Carolina to open the season.

CHICAGO — The Chicago Red Stars opened their 2019 season where they finished 2018, facing off against the defending champions North Carolina Courage. However, this time around Chicago was able to come up with a point as the team earned a 1-1 draw to open their campaign.

Last year’s NWSL Golden Boot Winner Sam Kerr would get Chicago on the board first in the 26th minute after a fantastic through ball from Yuki Nagasato. Crystal Dunn would equalize for the Courage in the second half, whose shot beat Alyssa Naeher’s save attempt.

The Courage would continue to push for the lead, but Chicago’s defense would hold strong to go along with Naeher’s five saves to keep the match even.

Key Moments
26th minute: Sam Kerr opens her 2019 NWSL goal account after Nagasato places a picture-perfect pass to the Aussie, who side-steps the goalkeeper and slots the ball into the back of the net. The goal marks her league-leading 60th in the NWSL.

41st minute: North Carolina’s Lynn Williams takes shot outside of the 18-yard box, but Naeher full length dives to make the save.

60th minute: Chicago builds out from the back and Alyssa Mautz finds a wide-open Arin Wright, who puts the ball just inches too far to the right.

66th minute: The Courage’s Jessica McDonald finds Dunn off a throw-in and the forward is given space inside the final third and slots in the equalizer as Naeher is beaten far post.

79th minute: Off of a North Carolina corner, Abby Erceg would head the ball towards goal, only for Naeher to parry the ball away.

93rd minute: Late substitution Michele Vasconcelos finds a running Kerr who beats goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe to the far post with a first-time volley, but the ball bounces off the crossbar and away from goal denying the Aussie the winning goal.

Player of the Match, presented by Magellan

When Alyssa Naeher steps on the field in North Carolina she becomes a superhero. The goalkeeper came up with five saves and two punches to keep the scoreline even for Chicago and handled the well known attack of the Courage with no fear.

Next Game

Next up, Chicago will play in their home opener at SeatGeek Stadium to face off against Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, April 20th. The game will be a doubleheader in collaboration with the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT for the Red Stars following the Fire’s match at 12:00 p.m. CT.  

Chicago Red Stars vs North Carolina Courage April 13, 2019 –WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary, NC.)

Goals by Half                         1       2       F

North Carolina Courage         0      1       1         

Chicago Red Stars                 1      0       1          

Scoring Summary:

CHI: Kerr (Nagasato), ‘26

NC: Dunn (McDonald), ‘66

Misconduct Summary:

CHI: Vasconcelos, ‘89


POR: GK Labbe, D Mathias, D Dahlkemper, D Erceg ©, D Hinkle, M Mewis, M Zerboni (Hamilton, ‘71), M O’Sullivan, M Dunn, F Williams, F McDonald (Pruitt, ‘71)

CHI: GK Naeher, D Wright (Vasconcelos ‘80), D Naughton, D Davidson, D Gorden, M Ertz ©, M Colaprico, M Mautz (DiBernardo), F Colaprico, F Nagasato (Brian, ‘73), F Kerr

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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