Match Report: NC Courage Falls 3-1 to Chicago, Remains at Top of NWSL Table
The NC Courage faced a setback, as the Chicago Red Stars scored three goals during a 15-minute span in the first half to win 3-1 at Sahlen’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Christen Press, Sofia Huerta and Vanessa Di Bernardo all scored for the Red Stars, while Lynn Williams pulled one back in the second half for the Courage.
Despite the loss, the Courage remain at the top of the NWSL standings with 12 points.
After an even start to the match, Chicago struck first in the 30th minute, scoring off a penalty kick from Press. The Red Stars were awarded the penalty after it was judged that Sabrina D’Angelo committed a foul in the box.
After conceding, the Courage pressed for a response and spent most of the remaining minutes of the first half in front of the Red Stars goal trying to break down a packed in defense.
The Red Stars doubled their lead with a goal against the run of play in the 38th minute. Press found Huerta in the box, who sent her shot into the top corner.
Chicago struck again in the 45th minute. D’Angelo made a strong save to deny Alyssa Mautz at the near post, but the rebound took an unlucky bounce and fell to Vanessa DiBernardo who buried her shot from close range into the back of the net.
Wanting to infuse a little more offensive-minded play, head coach Paul Riley subbed in Taylor Smith and Ashley Hatch at the beginning of the second half.
The change in shape paid off when Williams pulled the Courage back into the match with a strike in the 54th minute off an assist from Jaelene Hinkle.
Debinha nearly scored the second Courage goal with a strike from outside the box in the 58th minute, but Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher got her fingertips on the ball to prevent the goal.
The Courage continued to search for more goals, but couldn’t convert its chances, as Chicago left Sahlen’s Stadium with the win.
NCC: Sabrina D’Angelo; Yuri Kawamura, Abby Dahlkemper, Jessica McDonald; Jaelene Hinkle, McCall Zerboni, Sam Mewis, Makenzy Doniak (Ashley Hatch, 45′); Rosana (Taylor Smith, 45′); Debinha (Kristen Hamilton, 74′), Lynn Williams
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, Sam Witteman, Courtney Niemec, Meredith Speck
CHI: Alyssa Naeher, Arin Gillian, Katie Naughton, Samantha Johnson, Casey Short, Julie Ertz; Danielle Colaprico (Morgan Proffitt, 90+3′), Alyssa Mautz (Summer Green, 80′), Vanessa DiBernardo (Taylor Comeau, 69′); Sofia Huerta, Christen Press
Subs not used: Stephanie McCaffrey, Lauren Kaskie, Sarah Gorden, Michele Dalton
NC: Lynn Williams (Jaelene Hinkle, 55′)
CHI: Christen Press, (PK, 30′), Sofia Huerta (Christen Press, 37′), Vanessa DiBernardo (45′)
CHI: Casey Short 75′, Julie Ertz 90+’
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