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Multiple goal-scorers have Red Stars looking forward to 2015

By Stephanie Hirsch

Naperville, Ill. –  It seemed as though everyone on the Chicago Red Stars Reserves wanted a piece of the action, as the team defeated the visiting Minnesota TwinStars 3-0 in their 2015 WPSL season opener on Friday night. Jacie Jermier, Jade Klump, and Courtney “Shorty” Raetzman contributed a goal apiece, helping the team start the campaign on a high note.

Reserves Head Coach Chris King considers having multiple goal-scorers a strength for his squad and something to watch out for this season.

“We are goig to have a lot of players that are all capable of contributing,” he said. “I think when everyone is here and in full form, we are going to have nine or ten kids that are able to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Heading into the match, the visitors only had eleven players and thus no substitutes, giving Chicago the advantage from the start. However, Minnesota put up a fight against the home side’s aggressive play and high line, forcing the Red Stars to commit five fouls before the first goal alone. While visibly frustrated, Head Coach King’s squad continued to push through their first game jitters.

After bringing on some fresh legs, the Red Stars finally opened the scoring in the 30th minute of the game. Ashley Handwork slotted the ball through the middle to Jermier who took a shot from inside the 18-yard box, beating the keeper far post to give her side a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

Minnesota started out the second half on the front foot. In the 46th minute of play, Hayley Engel’s corner kick put immediate pressure on the Red Stars, whose defense tried to clear the ball, only for Aimee Wronski to commit a foul just outside the 18-yard box. TwinStars midfielder Kaityln Korte sent the ensuing free-kick up and over the crossbar, giving Chicago the wake-up call it needed.

The home side subsequently put on greater pressure by making multiple quality runs and looking for more creative ideas. Zoe Swift and Ashleigh Ellenwood were among the Red Stars players whose dangerous chances forced Minnesota goalkeeper Kristen Knutson to come up with ten saves in the game to keep her team alive.

Knutson was left helpless as Klump scored Chicago’s second goal in the 64th minute of play. Ellenwood made a run up the left side of the field and completed a pass to Klump at the top of the box, who then chipped the ball over Knutson to double her team’s advantage.

The final goal came in the closing stages. Jermier hit a diagonal pass forward to the cleats of Raetzman and the attacker released a drive from inside the area that forced Knutson to dive to her right for a pure reaction save. The ball rebounded right back to Raetzman, who drove it first-time into the net, rounding out the score line at 3-0.

Although King was happy with the result, he knows his team has many more games left to play in 2015.

“I know it is a cliché, but for us it is really one game at a time and it’s a long season,” he offered. “It’s just about being consistent and growing each game.”

The Chicago Red Stars Reserves return to action on Saturday, May 30, as they travel to take on the Fire and Ice Soccer Club at Oerter Soccer Park in Columbia, Illinois, at 7 p.m. CT. The team’s next home match (free admission) takes place on Saturday, June 13, at Oak Brook Polo Club, with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. CT. Red Stars merchandise will be available for purchase.

Chicago Red Stars Reserves vs. Minnesota TwinStars 3-0
Venue: Nike Sports Complex, Naperville, IL
Scheduled kickoff time: 5 p.m. CT

Red Stars starting lineup: Lebeaux, Raetzman, Swift, Armond, Jermier, Handwork, Proffit, Jester, Sajewich, Miller, Ellenwood

TwinStars starting lineup: Knutson, Engel, Korte, Young, Engel, Gurmessa, Royce, Morgan, Born, Winters, Shulz

Goals: ‘30 Jermier CRS (Handwork) – ‘64 Klump (Ellenwood) – ‘90 Raetzman

Other Red Stars players who featured:* Klump, Pineda, Burns, Ksiazek, Wronski, Hubly

(*unlimited substitutions and players allowed to sub back on after being subbed out)

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