Chicago Fights For a Point After 1-1 Draw in North Carolina

CHICAGO – The Red Stars battled to a 1-1 draw against the Courage, taking a point on the road. Sam Kerr tallied her first goal of the season, as Alyssa Naeher earned a single-game high 12 saves for Chicago.

With North Carolina pressuring Chicago, the Courage were able to take nine shots in the first 20 minutes. However, the Red Stars were able to stop all chances as goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a tremendous diving save, while Michele Vasconselos made two back-to-back goal line saves.

After the first-half hydration break, Chicago turned the tables and put the pressure on the North Carolina backline. The attack paid off as Alyssa Mautz found Sam Kerr inside the box, and with a quick touch and no-look shot, Kerr was able to notch her first Red Stars goal, continuing her all-time NWSL record with 44 goals.

Despite the Courage’s nine of 23 shots on target to the Red Stars one of six, Chicago was able to find the go-ahead goal just before halftime, as North Carolina trailed at the start of the second half for the first time this season.

Just out of halftime, North Carolina found another shot on goal after Crystal Dunn released a close-range shot, only to be saved by the heroic efforts of Naeher charging off her line for the stop. Just minutes later, Naeher was called upon again, with two back-to-back diving saves from both Sam Mewis and another from Dunn.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, North Carolina would finally capitalize off a corner kick opportunity. Erceg received the kick and with one touch, found McCall Zerboni who volleyed the ball just past Naeher.

In the final minutes, Kerr nearly got a brace after a lofted ball inside the box was chested down. With one bounce, Kerr struck the ball toward the net, but goalkeeper Sabrina DiAngelo was able to deflect Chicago’s last shot of the match.

The Red Stars return home on Saturday, May 12, when they host the Houston Dash for the second time this year. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on NWSL app and the go90 app.

CHI – Sam Kerr (37’) With the first true opportunity, Alyssa Mautz lobbed a ball over the backline to find Sam Kerr running onto the ball into the box. With defender Merritt Mathias challenging for the ball, Kerr controlled and slid the ball across the face of the goal. Catching goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo off guard, the ball found its way into the side netting for Kerr’s first goal with Chicago.

CHI – Alyssa Naeher (17’) As McCall Zerboni picked up the ball just past half field, she dribbled closer to the box, unleashing a strike toward the far post. Alyssa Naeher dove with outstretched arms, stopping the sure goal for the biggest save of the game thus far.

CHI – Michele Vasconcelos (17’)After a corner kick, a downed header from Sam Mewis was saved as Michele Vasconcelos stood near post and chested the ball away. After the deflection, Mewis rebounded and toe poked it in again with Vasconcelos stopping the ball to continue to keep it out of danger.

CHI – Alyssa Naeher (42’) – With a lobbed ball to the far post, Sam Mewis was able to keep it in bounds, lofting it straight in the air. As it came back down, the ball was deflected to a waiting Debinha, who from close range, took a shot toward the post, as Alyssa Naeher was able to quickly drop and save the ball with her feet. The ball was eventually shot well over the crossbar for Chicago to regain possession.

CHI – Alyssa Naeher (49’) – As a leading ball made its way inside the box, Debinha raced to it first, finding Crystal Dunn threaded between two defenders. Staying onside, Dunn strikes the ball on the first touch, but Alyssa Naeher charged off her line to make the miraculous save from point-blank range.

CHI – Alyssa Naeher (66’) – With a bit of chaos at the top of the box, Sam Mewis was able to stretch the ball to Crystal Dunn. Dunn controlled, turned and sent the a no-looking ball toward the far post, but Alyssa Naeher used her skills to make yet another diving save to keep the match by one.


MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage
DATE: Sunday, May 6; 2:00 p.m. CT
VENUE: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, North Carolina
BROADCAST: NWSL app, go90 app
WEATHER: 82 degrees, mostly cloudy

                       1          2          F
CHI                  1          0          1
NCC                 0          1          1

CHI – Sam Kerr (Alyssa Mautz)                                   37’
NCC – McCall Zerboni (Abby Erceg)                           82’

Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher (capt.); 14-Sarah Gorden, 16-Sam Johnson, 11-Sofia Huerta, 4-Alyssa Mautz 7-Taylor Comeau, 46); 2-Nikki Stanton, 13-Lauren Kaskie (24-Danielle Colaprico, 58), 12-Yuki Nagasato; 19-Summer Green (7-Taylor Comeau, 58), 15-Michele Vasconcelos, 20-Sam Kerr
Substitutes: 5-Katie Naughton, 8-Julie Ertz, 21-Emily Boyd
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; 10-Debinha (21 -Darian Jenkins, 90+4’), 7-McCall Zerboni, 5-Sam Mewis (14-Jess Mcdonald, 62), 8-Denise O’Sullivan (23-Kristen Hamilton, 79); 9-Lynn Williams, 19-Crystal Dunn
Substitutes: 0-Katelyn Rowland, 31-Kaleigh Kurtz, 25-Meredith Speck, 4-Elizabeth Eddy
Head coach: Paul Riley

Shots: 8/42
Shots on Goal: 2/14
Saves: 12/1
Fouls: 8/7
Offsides: 3/4

NCC – Sam Mewis (caution)                           45’
CHI – Yuki Nagasato (caution)                        45+3’
NCC – McCall Zerboni (caution)                     71’
CHI – Michele Vasconcelos (caution)             73’

Referee: John Krill
Assistant Referees: Matthew Osterhouse, Hicham El Bariqi
4th Official: Timothy Geis

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