BRIDGEVIEW, IL–Being on the road was a tough task for the Chicago Red Stars over its last four matches in the National Women’s Soccer League which the Red Stars managed a win, loss, and a couple of draws. So, a remedy for the team was to come back home where they have had success all season long.
Chicago hasn’t lost at home and kept that run of play going with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Orlando Pride at Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon in front of a season-best 4,742 in attendance.
Christen Press led the way with a brace, while Sofia Huerta and Jen Hoy each had assists. Red Stars’ goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher also made 3 quality saves.
Red Stars are now 8-3-4, 28 points and now are 6-0-2 at Toyota Park. The Pride with the loss falls to 5-6-4, 19 points..
“We’ll take the three points and move on,” Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames said. “I thought the whole team (Orlando) was good. We know Alex (Morgan) is just getting back to playing again and she’ll get better. It’s two times we’ve played them and we’ve done a good job with Marta keeping tabs on her and not letting Alex (Morgan) get in behind us.”
Press with her pair of goals gave her eight on the season. Her first goal was set up off the led of Huerta, which Press was left with the Pride keeper Audrey Bledsoe. Press made her move around and placed the ball into the open net for a 1-0 advantage in the 29th minute.
“I actually felt my touch was off,” Press said. “Sometimes, when that happens, I just tend to stay a little bit higher and try to post goals. It alleviates pressure for the team. Orlando had the ball the first 25 minutes, so that’s what I did and I composed in front of the ball.”
On the second goal in the 52nd minute for the 2-0 Chicago lead. Press took a long service from Jen Hoy that was left right in front of her on the run at the top of the penalty area. Press controlled it and place it into the top left corner past the on-rushing keeper Bledsoe.
Orlando managed to get a goal back in stoppage time late in the match. Alanna Kennedy found the back of the net off a loose ball in front of the Red Stars goal in the 92nd that cut the margin to 2-1.
But, it was Chicago’s goalkeeper Naeher and its defense that was up to the challenge all game long keeping the Pride attack to a minimum.
“It was kind of what we expected,” Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni said. “It was tough and it was what Chicago did well. They did well by scoring two goals. We were chasing two goals and that’s typical going against a team like Chicago. They’re probably the best defensive team in the league and strong in the back. Really tight and difficult to score.”
Chicago’s Alyssa Mautz entered the match late in the match for her 100th appearance for the Red Stars. It’s the first player the club to achieve that honor. Julie Ertz came off the bench and entered the match in the second half, because of a reported illness keeping her from starting the game.
The Red Stars will have some time off because of international play and will return on the road to face the Pride in Orlando on Saturday, August 5th at 6:30pm CT
Click here for the photo gallery of the match.
CHI-Christen Press (Huerta) 29
CHI-Christen Press (Hoy) 52
ORL-Alanna Kennedy (Hill) 90+3
ORL-Marta (caution, tactical foul) 76
CHICAGO RED STARS (4-3-1-2): #1-Alyssa Naeher; #7-Taylor Comeau, #5-Katie Naughton, #6-Casey Short, #3-Arin Gilliand; #11-Sofia Huerta, #24-Danielle Colaprico (#8-Julie Ertz 46), #30-Lauren Kaskie (#13-Morgan Proffitt 85); #10-Vanessa DiBernardo; #2-Jen Hoy (#4-Alyssa Mautz 89), #23-Christen Press
Subs Not Used: #18-Michele Dalton, #4-Alyssa Mautz, #9-Stephanie McCaffrey, #14-Sarah Gorden, #19-Summer Green
ORLANDO PRIDE (4-2-3-1): #19-Audrey Bledsoe; #9-Camila, #11-Ali Krieger, #3-Toni Pressley, #7-Steph Catley; #17-Dani Weatherholt (#21-Monica 79), #14-Alanna Kennedy; #23-Jasmyne Spencer (#12-Kristen Edmonds 46), #10-Marta, #6-Chioma Ubogagu (#15-Rachel Hill 79); #13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: #40-Caroline Stanley, #4-Jamia Fields, #12-Kristen Edmonds, #18-Maddy Evans, #20-Nickolette Driesse
TOTAL SHOTS: CHI 9-15 ORL
SHOTS ON GOAL: CHI 5-4 ORL
FOULS: CHI 9-3 ORL
OFFSIDES: CHI 1-1 ORL
CORNER KICKS: CHI 2-7 ORL
SAVES: CHI 3-3 ORL
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: Rachel Smith, Art Arustamyan
Fourth Official: Lukas Szpala
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 85º
Woman of the Match: Christen Press (CHI)
Chicago Red Stars