CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars Reserves fell for the first time this season in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Semifinal 5-1 to Pensacola FC. Jo Boyles notched the only goal for Chicago, a penalty kick that was the equalizer at the time.
The Reserves were given an immediate challenge when entering their playoff run as multiple injuries, prior commitments and contracts overseas for players halted Chicago from making it to the Finals.
With their full squad, the Reserves found themselves undefeated in the regular season, topping the North Conference of the Central Division. Chicago earned nine wins, while drawing just one for a regular season total of 28 points. The total points were the most by any team in the league. Additionally, Chicago did not allow a goal until the ninth game of the season, marking eight consecutive shutouts.
Heading into the post season, Chicago lost three starters due to professional contracts overseas. Alexa Ben (FSK St. Polten-Spratzern; Austria), Ashton Miller (AC Sprata Praha; Czech Republic) and Bri Visalli (West Ham United Ladies; England) all headed to Europe to pursue professional careers with their respected teams. Christina Murrilo was also absent due to being called into Mexico’s National Team camp ahead of the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
After advancing to the Semifinals, the Reserves lost more players to prior commitments, including Division-I teams reporting back to school for preseason, as well as injuries. But the loss doesn’t deter Chicago from looking bright into next season.
“Our staff and organization are proud of the team’s character and fight this season,” said assistant coach, Paul Box. “They fought their way into the WPSL Playoffs, all the way to the final whistle. It’s unfortunate we came up short, but the players will hold their heads high and be back for redemption next year.”