Lisle, IL – After a back and forth physical battle on the field, the Red Stars sealed a victory against the Seattle Reign in front of a sold out home crowd of 3,400 people. A 3-1 final score knocked the Seattle Reign out of the running for a spot in the NWSL playoffs and kept the Red Stars dreams alive as they aim for the final playoff spot. Inka Grings notched two goals and Sonja Fuss added a PK. The Reign’s only goal was scored by Kaylyn Kyle off a penalty kick.
“We’ve been playing in games that have been must-wins for over a month,” said Head Coach Rory Dames. “We don’t really feel pressure because we don’t consider ourselves the favorites in anything. The players have done extraordinary and I’m extremely proud of the group.”
The Seattle Reign offense was led by midfielder and national team member Megan Rapinoe, who created opportunities early in the match with a perfectly placed cross ball and a free kick. But the Red Stars would strike first with an 11th minute earned penalty kick off a Reign handball in the box. German international defender Sonja Fuss took the kick and fired her shot into the left corner of the goal, putting the home side up 1-0 early. The Reign answered with their own penalty kick conversion in the 27th minute. Liz Bogus went down inside the box allowing an opportunity for the Reign to earn the equalizer. Kaylyn Kyle fired a fast, low ball into the bottom right corner. Red Stars keeper Taylor Vancil dove to the right side of the goal but wasn’t able to stop the shot.
In the 41st minute Solo attempted to clear the ball out of the backfield but the ball hit Inka Grings in the chest. Grings gained control of the ball and fired a shot into the back of the net past Solo to secure a 2-1 lead before the end of the half.
The Seattle Reign started the second half looking for an equalizing goal, but weren’t able to find it. There were a handful of dangerous opportunities created by Rapinoe, but none were converted. Grings sealed the victory for the Red Stars in the 71st minute with her second goal of the night. Jen Hoy fired a low crossed ball in front of the goal after beating her defender to the endline and Grings was able to make the connection for the final goal of the match.
During the physical match, yellow cards were given to Red Stars player Michelle Wenino and Seattle Reign players Emily Van Egmond and Keelin Winters.
The Red Stars look to keep fighting for a spot in the playoffs traveling to Washington to take on the Spirit Wednesday night. Afterward, the Red Stars will return for their last home game of the season against the Sky Blue FC on Saturday, August 10, at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for Saturday’s match by visiting chicagoredstars.com or calling 773-697-8699.