Boyds, MD – In spite of not capitalizing on an early penalty kick, the Red Stars were able to put away chances in the second half, thanks to a goal in the 63rd minute and an assist in the 71st minute from Adriana Leon. Second-half substitute Ella Masar had the second goal of the night for the Red Stars.
The Red Stars earned an early chance in the 8th minute when Spirit defender Candace Chapman was called for a handball in the box. German international Inka Grings stepped up and slotted the PK low and hard to the corner, but Spirit GK Ashlyn Harris was up to the challenge by pushing the ball out of bounds.
The Spirit got their first good look in the 14th minute when Stephanie Ochs broke through the Red Stars defense and looked to be heading for a 1v1 with CRS ‘keeper Erin McLeod, but defender Taryn Hemmings tracked back and blocked the ball out for a corner.
Red Stars captain Lori Chalupny suffered a hard foul at the edge of the 18-yard box in the 18th minute, setting up Sonja Fuss with a dangerous freekick that she dinged off the near post.
Chalupny would set-up another dangerous play in the 30th minute by breaking down to the right endline and blasting a cross to the front of the goal. Mexican international Maribel Dominguez threw her body at the ball but the shot went just right of the goal.
The second best chance of the half for the Spirit came in the 31st minute when recently acquired German international Conny Pohlers nearly got on the end of a breakaway from a Diana Matheson through-ball, but McLeod scooped it up before she got there.
The Red Stars started out on the attack in the second half and got their first solid look in the 54th minute when Hemmings and Chalupny combined back-and-forth and Hemmings missed a breakaway by inches when Harris came out to dive on the ball. In the 60th, defender Michelle Wenino got up field this time and got a cross off from the right side of the field. Dominguez connected with her foot but the shot went wide again.
The Red Stars got their breakthrough in the 63rd minute when recently acquired Canadian international Adriana Leon put forth some nifty footwork on the right side of the goal, setting herself up for a shot that she lobbed over Harris. Just a few minutes later, Ella Masar subbed into the match for Dominguez and made her presence felt by high-pressuring the goal. In the 71st it paid off when the Red Stars earned a corner kick that bobbled out to defender Lydia Vandenbergh. She blasted a shot at goal that bounced around and was picked up by Leon. Leon’s bicycle kick found Masar, who was left alone in front of the net and had no problem putting it away for the 2-0 lead.
Late game substitute for the Spirit, Tiffany McCarty, brought some energy and speed to the pitch late in the game, providing Washington with some of their better opportunities of the night. But the Red Stars defense was up to the task, keeping a clean-sheet on the night and another shutout for goalkeeper Erin McLeod.
The Red Stars return home for a two-game grandstand beginning Sunday, July 13 at 3 p.m. CT for their third matchup this season with FC Kansas City. The series is tied 1-1. Then a rematch with Washington Spirit will take place on Saturday, July 20 at 6 p.m. CT. Tickets are available for each match by visiting chicagoredstars.com or calling 773-697-8699.