BRIDGEVIEW, IL–For the second straight match at home, the Chicago Red Stars fell short of their goal of coming away with points and helping themselves in the National Women’s Soccer League Standings.
Chicago gave up two late goals and fell in defeat to visiting Seattle Reign 2-1 at Toyota Park on Wednesday night. It was also the first time that Reign has beaten the Red Stars in Chicago.
The Red Stars (8-5-5, 29 pts) are fortunate with the loss to the Reign (7-5-6, 27 pts) maintaining third place standing ahead of Seattle, but second place Portland (9-4-4, 31 pts) also lost on the road to FC Kansas City 2-1 on Wednesday.
“There’s something missing from our group right now,” Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames said. “We’ll have to figure out what it is as a whole. We’re in the games and playing well. We’ve lost two in a row at home, but there’s something else and we just have to slow down. It doesn’t have to do with who played or who didn’t play. We have 20 players who are ready to play. We just have things to sort out and move forward.”
Jen Hoy had put Chicago out in front with a header in the 23rd minute of play by taking a service off the leg of Taylor Comeau for a 1-0 lead.
The Red Stars had the run of play especially in the second half, which they were controlling the play and attacking the Reign goal. However, Chicago during a span from the hour mark to the 80th minute couldn’t find the back of the net and missed their chance of increasing their lead and taking control of the match.
“For the most part we played very well to be honest,” Dames said. “We created a lot of chances and some off our chances around the goal if we made an extra pass, instead of someone having a half-chance or having a great chance.”
Seattle keeper Haley Kopmeyer was part of the reason the Reign stayed in the match, with her efforts stopping numerous Red Stars chances and she even had a few breakaway stops on Chicago’s Christen Press. Kopmeyer made a total of 7 saves.
“I think it was all a blur,” Kopmeyer said. “I think we had a strong rally at halftime. We needed it, because our season is on the line. We needed to be told that it wasn’t good enough. All I needed to do was to keep the ball out and give us a chance to win. Credit to us and a little fire to put it away at the end.”
Seattle’s Nahom Kawasumi scored the tying goal in the 90th minute causing a couple of the Chicago’s defenders to slip in the penalty area, while Rumi Utsugi picked up the assist.
Then, a couple minutes later in stoppage time on a counter attack. The Reign’s Katie Johnson scored the game-winning goal for the 2-1 advantage.
“I thought in the second half we had more chances and Haley Kopmeyer made good saves,” Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey said. “Credit to the group its the first time we’ve won in Chicago. It’s a huge fight, grit and character to come off a defeat, down a point is a phenomenal achievement for this group.”
Chicago keeper Alyssa Naeher missed the match with a groin injury, which gave Michele Dalton the start in goal and she played pretty well in making a couple of saves.
“(Naeher) has a tight groin,” Dames said. “She was a little sore when she came back from the National Team camp. The first goal she gave up the other night (to Portland), she couldn’t get down on it. Then by the third goal, she couldn’t plant on it So, even though we gave away points, until we get into a desperation mode. We thought we would give her a break in the middle of the week here.”
Chicago return to action for its third straight home match in eight days hosting FC Kansas City Sunday, August 20th at 5 p.m. (CT) back at Toyota Park.
CHI-Jen Hoy (Comeau) 23
SEA-Nahomi Kawasumi (Utsugi) 90
SEA-Katie Johnson (Mathias) 90+2
SEA-Christine Nairn (caution, unsporting behavior) 74
CHICAGO RED STARS (4-3-1-2): #18-Michele Dalton; #3-Arin Gilliand, #2-Jen Hoy (#4-Alyssa Mautz 61), #13-Morgan Proffitt, #6-Casey Short; #7-Taylor Comeau, #8-Julie Ertz, #24-Danielle Colaprico; #10-Vanessa DiBernardo (#9-Stephanie McCaffrey 87); #11-Sofia Huerta, #23-Christen Press
Subs not used: #1-Alyssa Naeher, #14-Sarah Gorden, #30-Lauren Kaskie, #9-Stephanie McCaffrey, #12-Yuki Nagasato, #5-Katie Naughton
SEATTLE REIGN FC (4-3-3): #28-Haley Kopmeyer; #16-Carson Pickett, #13-Rebekah Stott, #4-Rachel Corsie, #3-Laurne Barnes; #6-Lindsay Elston (#33-Katie Johnson 46), #20-Rumi Utsugi, #2-Christine Nairn (#18-Larissa Crummer 76); #36-Nahomi Kawasumi, #10-Jessica Fishlock, #5-Kiersten Dallstream (#9-Merritt Mathias 68)
Subs not used: #24-Madalyn Schiffel, #26-Madeline Bauer, #19-Kristen McNabb, #17-Beverly Yanez
TOTAL SHOTS: CHI 12-8 SEA
SHOTS ON GOAL: CHI 8-4 SEA
FOULS: CHI 7-10 SEA
OFFSIDES: CHI 2-5 SEA
CORNER KICKS: CHI 4-8 SEA
SAVES: CHI 2-7 SEA
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Referee’s Assistants: Jeffrey Skinner, Jeffrey Swartzel
Fourth Official: Calin Radosav
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and 77º
Woman of the Match: Hayley Kopmeyer (SEA)
Chicago Red Stars