FENTON, MO (March 22, 2014) – The Chicago Red Stars kicked off the 2014 preseason in a 1-1 draw with National Women’s Soccer League Midwest rival FC Kansas City on a cool Saturday evening in front of a 2,000-plus crowd at St. Louis Soccer Park.
Red Stars midfielder, and St. Louis native, Alyssa Mautz, tallied the team’s lone goal for the night in the 51st minute. The goal was assisted by Canadian international forward Adriana Leon.
The Red Stars kicked off the first half with key players from last year’s squad starting, including St. Louis hometown favorite and team captain Lori Chalupny. All three of the team’s 2014 NWSL College Draft picks started including midfielder Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois) and forward Hayley Brock (Maryland).
The first half began with both sides alternating attacks before Red Stars keeper Karina LeBlanc was tested midway through with a hard shot by FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez, and then again by defender Leigh Ann Robinson. One of the Red Stars best first-half looks occurred when Chalupny broke past the defense on the right side of the field and got a hard cross off from the endline. Rookie Brock nearly connected, but the effort was blocked by the FCKC defense. At the end of 45 minutes, with equal opportunities by both squads, the score remained tied at 0-0.
The second half opened up with the Red Stars on the attack. Just six minutes in, Mautz beat FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart with a hard shot to the lower left corner of the net off a cross by Adriana Leon.
Shortly after the go-ahead goal both teams made several substitutions and FC Kansas City began to pick up momentum on the pitch. In the 83rd minute, FC Kansas City forward Melissa Henderson tied the match, off a perfectly passed ball from midfielder Jen Buczkowski. The Red Stars continued to press Kansas City, but were unable to find the net before the game closed in a 1-1 draw.
“It was so good to be back at home and back on this field,” stated Red Stars goal scorer Alyssa Mautz. “I love playing in front of family, friends and hometown fans. And it’s always nice to get a goal in front of them, too.”
The Red Stars will next face the University of Notre Dame at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 2 in South Bend, Indiana, and will close out the preseason with a split-match against DePaul University and Oakland University on April 6 at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine Sports Complex.
The team opens their NWSL 2014 home schedule against Western New York Flash on April 19 at 5pm CT at Toyota Park, following a match between MLS sides Chicago Fire and New England Revolution.
GOALS 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 0 1 1
FC Kansas City 0 1 1
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 51 Chicago Red Stars Alyssa Mautz Adriana Leon
2 83 FC Kansas City Melissa Henderson Jen Buczkowski