Rochester, NY – Playing their second match this week, the short-handed Red Stars were unable to find a rhythm early in the match and dropped a 2-0 contest to Western New York Flash in Rochester Wednesday night. Flash goals scored in the 2nd minute by Brittany Taylor and 91st minute by Sam Kerr.
“We put ourselves into a tough spot early with a big mental mistake,” stated Head Coach Rory Dames. “Players did the best they could with what we had. Now the focus is to try to recover the best we can for Saturday.”
The early goal came in the 2nd minute after the Flash earned their second corner kick of the night. Spaniard Vicky Losada placed a high ball into the box that found the head of wide-open Brittany Taylor who nodded it in easy for the early lead.
The Red Stars never really found a rhythm after giving up the early lead and struggled to find a flow to the match from then on.
The Red Stars were without 5 national team starters, missing Abby Erceg (NZ), Julie Johnston (USA), Karina LeBlanc (CAN), Adriana Leon (CAN), and Christen Press (USA). Julianne Sitch was sitting out the 2nd match of a 2-game league suspension after a foul against Seattle on June 7.
Adding to the Red Stars trouble was an unfortunate injury to defender Samantha Johnson in the 35th minute of the match. Johnson was moving forward to win a header-ball when inexplicably Flash player Losada kicked a backheel towards the play, slicing Johnson across the face with the bottom of her cleat. Johnson would leave the game to receive stitches and was not able to return to play the rest of the match.
A relatively uneventful second half picked up when several substitutes entered the match for each side. WNY’s Keer nearly doubled the Flash lead in the 79th minute when she found herself in a 1v1 with Red Stars keeper Taylor Vancil, but Vancil was up to task coming up with the major block to keep the Red Stars in the game.
But it would be Kerr who created something out of nothing in end-of-match stoppage time taking on the Red Stars defense and blasting a long shot from the right side of the field that sailed over Vancil, and put the finishing touches on the match.
The Red Stars end their brutal 3-games in 7-days lineup this Saturday in Kansas City for a Saturday night match-up at 7 p.m. CT They will then travel to Portland on the 4th of July before finally returning home to meet Portland again on Wednesday, July 9th. For tickets, visit chicagoredstars.com/tickets/ or call 773-697-8699.