NWSL Regular Season - MATCH 15

7:30pm CST
Shell Energy Stadium
Houston Dash
Chicago Red Stars
The Chicago Red Stars (4-9-1, 13 points) hope to carry over momentum from their 1-0 win over San Diego as the team heads to Houston to take on the Dash (4-4-6, 18 points) this Friday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. CT.
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Previous Result
HOU: Houston went scoreless against North Carolina 1-0
CHIThe Chicago Red Stars shutout San Diego Wave FC 1-0


Before the Break
Chicago’s match against Houston this weekend will mark the last match before the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) break. The Red Stars enter the match at the bottom of the table, but with a win against San Diego last weekend and the best crossing completion rate in the league (25.3 percent), the team will look to enter the NWSL break with momentum. Despite losing two matches to Houston earlier this year season, Chicago has more goals (18 to Houston’s 10) and more assists (10 to Houston’s 5) on less shots (102 to Houston’s 118) and shots on goal (47 to Houston’s 53) than Houston. With this being the third meeting between the two sides this season, what adjustments will Coach Petrucelli make to help Chicago walk away with points? Tune in to Paramount+ Friday to find out.
Lining it Up
While the Dash have a better record (4-4-6), Chicago has Houston beat in various statistical categories. The Red Stars hold a 17.65 percent conversion rate, more than doubling the Dash’s 8.47 percent, have a 46.08 percent shot accuracy compared to Houston’s 44.92 percent and the Chicago side has won more duels (660) and tackles (148) than Houston (535 duels and 133 tackles won). Houston’s roster does boast five players with at least one goal (Michelle Alozie, Joelle Anderson, Sophie Hirst, Ally Prisock and Ebony Salmon), while Chicago falls just behind with four players logging one goal each (Cari Roccaro, Mallory Swanson, Bianca St-Georges and Arin Wright). However, the Red Stars counter the Dash with five players scoring two or more goals (Ava Cook, two, Penelople Hocking, two, Yuki Nagasato, two, Ally Schlegel, two, and Ella Stevens, four) while Houston only has two players having scored more than one goal (Diana Ordóñez, two, and María Sánchez, three). Additionally, Chicago’s Stevens is currently the only NWSL player this season to score more than two goals while attempting less than 10 shots following the attacker’s one-goal, one-shot performance against San Diego July 1. Statistics can’t always predict the outcome of a match, but the Red Stars sure have the edge on paper.
Greatness for Griffith
Recently returning to the pitch for the first time since May 3, Naperville native, Sarah Griffith, has immediately impacted Chicago’s attack. Nine minutes after the forward subbed on at halftime on the road against New Jersey/New York Gotham FC June 25, Griffith recorded her first assist of 2023 with a cross in the 55th minute to midfielder, Cari Roccaro, to tie the match. A 2022 NWSL draftee, the June 25 assist is Griffith’s second professional assist. Additionally, Griffith has yet to record a single-game passing accuracy lower than 71.4 percent in the regular season, logging a perfect passing accuracy against Kansas City on April 15. Griffith’s regular-season cumulative 74.5 percent passing accuracy is punctuated by the fact that the forward has yet to play a full 90 minutes in 2023. Griffith undoubtedly has more grand displays in store.
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