Overland Park, KC – It was a slow start for the Red Stars, allowing an early KC goal, but they persisted and overcame the early deficit to earn a hard-fought 3-1 win on the road against FC Kansas City. Inka Grings and Sonja Fuss had their first NWSL league goals, while Ella Masar contributed one of her own. Lori Chalupny proved clutch with an assist and an earned PK, while Taryn Hemmings added an assist.
Kansas City picked up where they left off in the teams’ last meeting on Thursday in Chicago, when they scored early in the match with a 3rd minute goal by Renae Cueller, assisted by Courtney Jones. FCKC was coming off a 2-0 victory in Chicago, where they broke the Red Stars 2-game shutout and win-streak.
It looked like the Red Stars earned a dangerous free-kick in the 17th minute when team captain Chalupny was clipped on the ankle just outside the 18-yard box, but play was allowed to continue, thwarting the Red Stars opportunity for a look on goal. Shortly after, Hemmings broke into the box and got tangled with an FCKC defender. From the ground she was able to pop the ball into the net, but the referee called it back. The Red Stars continued to press and finally earned the tying goal in the 42nd minute when Chalupny broke down the left side and placed a perfect cross to the head of Grings, who notched her first NWSL goal of the season.
Chicago started out strong in the 2nd half, pressing early for a leading goal, but were accused of several fouls which slowed the run of play. In the 58th minute, defender Taryn Hemmings found the ball at her feet and took off on a field-length run breaking all the way into the FCKC 18-yard box. She sent a low, hard cross to Masar who one-timed it into the corner of the net, sending the Red Stars into a 2-1 lead.
One of Kansas City’s best chances of the 2nd half was in the 73rd minute when a through-ball went just beyond the reach of Cuellar and into the hands of Red Stars ‘keeper Vancil.
In late game stoppage time, Chalupny broke into the 18-yard box from the right side of the field. She was taken out by an FCKC defender and the Red Stars were awarded a PK. Defender Sonja Fuss stepped up and slotted away the PK giving, sealing a 3-1 victory for the Red Stars on the road.
The Red Stars return home Wednesday for the last match of this heavy four-game stretch when they take on WNY Flash at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for Wednesday’s match by visiting chicagoredstars.com or calling 773-697-8699.