July 16, 2017 – National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Chicago Red Stars
CHICAGO – The Red Stars finish their four-game road trip after a heated 2-2 draw against Sky Blue FC. Sofia Huerta found her third goal of the season as Christen Press saw her sixth, becoming the fourth all-time leading scorer in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Chicago opened the match with high pressure, earning multiple opportunities and capitalizing on Sky Blue’s uncontrolled passing. Chicago’s first attempt at a goal came in just the third minute, as a free kick was given to the Red Stars just outside the box. Captain Press took the shot, curling the ball around the defensive wall, but Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was able to punch it to safety.
But Chicago’s pressure paid off in the fourth minute, when a sloppy pass in the backline gave Press the ball. The forward found Huerta open in the center of the box, taking a touch and puts it right through the legs of Sheridan, giving Chicago the 1-0 lead.
With multiple opportunities taken place, the Red Stars were able to up the scoreline in the 26th minute. Nearly 25 yards from the goal, Vanessa DiBernardo found the ball, chipping it over the entire backline. Timing her run, Press met the ball with her chest, taking one touch to put it past Sheridan from close range, earning the second goal.
Minutes later, league scoring leader Sam Kerr lobbed a ball into the box at the far post. Midfielder Taylor Lytle headed the ball down to inch closer to the goal line. With a scramble in the box, Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came off her line to try to smother the ball. But before Naeher could get a hand on it, Sky Blue forward Maya Hayes put the ball behind Naeher to narrow the scoreline.
In final minutes of the first half, Kerr and Sarah Killion found their fair share of chances at a goal, but neither could find an equalizer to take into the locker room, leaving the first 45 minutes with Chicago on top, 2-1.
Starting the second half, Sky Blue controlled much of the possession, but little opportunities were found. But it was the dynamic duo of Press and Huerta up top that keep finding Chicago chances, each receiving a shot on goal in a matter of five minutes, both deflected by Sheridan.
But in second half stoppage time, Sky Blue wasn’t finished, as a Killion cross found the head of Kerr, who put it past a diving Naeher for the late equalizer, ending the match in a 2-2 draw.
Chicago returns home on Saturday, July 22 (2:30 p.m. CT) for NWSL’s Game of the Week against Alex Morgan and the Orlando Pride at Toyota Park. Get tickets here (http://chicagoredstars.com/orl_0722/) .