Seattle, Wa. – After a first half that was deadlocked thanks to some great stops by goalkeepers Erin McLeod and Hope Solo, a PK for the Reign would end the stalemate early in the second half, followed shortly thereafter by another Reign goal from distance that would give the home-side a 2-0 advantage. The Red Stars chipped the total in half late in the game, but got burned pressing for the equalizer. Final score was 3-1 in favor of the home side. Seattle goals by Kaylyn Kyle, Jessica Fishlock and Megan Rapinoe. Red Stars goal by Michelle Wenino.
“The penalty kick call changed the entire complexion of the game,” said Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames. “We had 3 good chances in the first half to get out in front and 5 or 6 in the second half, but just lacked quality around the goal. I thought the biggest difference in the game was Hope Solo making some big saves at crucial moments.”
The Red Stars had two chances in the first half that looked like sure-fire goals, but Solo was up to the task, first by blocking an Alyssa Mautz shot from close range after she snuck through two defenders, and next by coming out to slide on Inka Grings who had a breakaway on the left side of the goal.
In the 36th minute Red Stars ‘keeper Erin McLeod was called on to make her own major save, when she had to dive to the low corner to block a header from Fishlock.
Early in the second half the Reign would catch a lucky break when Ella Masar inadvertently tangled with Kennya Cordner in the Red Stars box. The Reign would earn a PK on the play, and Masar would suffer an injury and have to be replaced by Maribel Dominguez. Kaylyn Kyle stepped up and slipped the PK in, sending the Reign up 1-0 in the 53rd minute.
It wasn’t much later when Fishlock found herself with some space from 20 yards out. A simple turn off a pass from Christine Nairn and she launched a shot straight over the outstretched McLeod, giving the Reign a 2-0 cushion in the 59th.
Maribel Dominguez nearly had the goal of the match in the 64th minute when she found a hint of space along the right sideline and blasted a shot that beat Solo and pinged off the inside of the far post.
The Red Stars found life late in the game of an 87th minute header goal from defender Wenino off a Julianne Sitch corner kick, cutting the lead in half. But as the Red Stars pressed for the late equalizer, Rapinoe got free on the left side of the field and made no mistake slotting away the Reign’s third and final goal.
The Red Stars return home Thursday for a 4th of July 1 p.m. CT tilt with WNY Flash. Tickets are available for Thursday’s match by visiting chicagoredstars.com or calling 773-697-8699.