All Three Games This Season End in Comeback Ties
Lisle, IL (July 17, 2014) – It was the same old story on a new day for the Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns FC as both teams played to a tie for the third time this season. It would also mark the third time the Red Stars would come from behind to tie the match. Jess McDonald scored the Thorns lone goal in the 1st minute, while Chicago captain Lori Chalupny sealed the tie in the 77th minute.
“We’re definitely disappointed because we wanted to get three points,” said goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. “But throughout the game we found ways to fight back and create chances.”
The Red Stars dug themselves into a hole from the kickoff when the Thorns were able to score about 30 seconds into the match when Stephanie Catley played a crossed ball from the left side into the path of McDonald, who had no trouble burying it from point-blank range.
After that early set-back the Red Stars were not without their own first half chances including a great cross from Vanessa DiBernardo in the 16th minute that skimmed across the face of the goal, and nearly looked like it would sneak in the back post. Two minutes later Jen Hoy broke into the box and was smothered by multiple Thorns players, and nearly held her balance for the shot, but was toppled over.
In the 36th minute, Hoy used pace to shake her defender on the right endline and get a cross off, but it unfortunately fell just beyond the head of Christen Press. She was able to gather it and get a shot off, but it flew over the crossbar. Just before halftime the Red Stars would earn one more cross opportunity when Alyssa Mautz looked for Press. But again her shot was slightly off target.
The rest of the best Thorns first half chances came off the Catley/McDonald partnership working up the left side of the field. There were several times where Catley was able to get off a well-placed cross to the center of goal, towards the onrushing McDonald. Aside from those chances, their other dangerous opportunities were from free-kicks courtesy of Red Stars fouls and an unlucky hand-ball on the edge of the 18-yard box that was called on Red Stars midfielder Shannon Boxx in the 41st minute.
The second half was loaded with exciting moments as the Red Stars looked for yet another comeback on the Thorns this season and they came out blazing from the whistle. They were nearly able to mimick the Thorns first-half performance by scoring in the opening seconds of the 2nd half when Mautz lobbed a cross to the front post for Hemmings that Thorns goalkeeper Nadine Angerer had to punch away from danger.
In the 75th minute, Christen Press shook two defenders from the endline and found herself nearly standing on one of the posts. She played the ball across goal, but no Red Stars players were there to make the connection. Two minutes later the Red Stars put together combination play that resulted in their only tally of the match. Press played a short ball off to Adriana Leon on the right endline and Leon pinpointed her cross to the foot of Hoy, who was standing by the near-post. Hoy got tangled with Thorns defenders before the ball popped across the face of the goal to Chalupny, who slid it into the net.
In the 80th minute Press made a 50-yard run, slicing through Thorns defenders until she found herself in a 1v1 with the Thorns ‘keeper. Angerer came up with a massive play stealing the ball off the foot of Press before she could complete her highlight-reel play. LeBlanc would also come up huge with several late game saves to keep the score-line level.
“We’ve put ourselves in the right position to win,” said Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames. “We put the ball where it needed to be and didn’t come through tonight but I’m confident we will moving forward.”
The Red Stars have a quick turnaround as they head to the road to take on Seattle for the third and final time this season. They have split the series after a 3-1 loss in Seattle on June 7 and a 1-0 win over the Reign in Chicago last Saturday, July 12, which marked Seattle’s only loss of the season. The Red Stars return home on July 26 to meet the Houston Dash in their only Chicago visit this season. For tickets, visit chicagoredstars.com/tickets/ or call 773-697-8699.
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