July 13, 2012
Red Stars looking to break 3-way tie
The final home game of the WPSL Elite regular season for the Chicago Red Stars is Saturday night at 7:00pm at Benedictine University in Lisle against the 2011 WPS champion WNY Flash.
With only 3 games remaining in the regular season, Chicago, WNY, and Boston are tied for 1st place, but the Red Stars have a game in hand on both teams. A win for the Red Stars Saturday will give them a slight cushion with just 2 games remaining in the regular season.
The last time the two teams met back on June 13th in Rochester is a game the Red Stars had to quickly forget. They suffered their first loss of the season in grand fashion, being shutout 3-0 to the home side. It is a rematch that the Red Stars have awaited for much of the season.
“I have not stopped thinking about this game since we lost to them at their place,” said Red Stars’ Goalkeeper Jamie Forbes. “It’s shaping up to be a tough game, but a great one. Being at home in front of our great fans, we need to come out and just focus on playing our style of game.”
WNY Flash travelled to FC Indiana Thursday night, where they won with a convincing 5-0 score. They now lead the league on goal differential with a 21-point spread. Red Stars hold a 17-point differential, which could be a major factor if teams remain tied at the end of the regular season. The Red Stars still have the opportunity to slice into that score-line with their game in hand on WNY this weekend.
“There is nothing better than being on your own turf and having your fans on a big game,” said Red Stars’ Defender Michelle Wenino. “This is an important match-up before heading into playoffs.”
The top 4 teams to make the WPSL Elite postseason have also already been set with Chicago, Boston, WNY, and NY Fury. But with several games remaining on the season, any of the teams can place 1 – 4. The finals are scheduled to take place in Rochester, with WNY Flash as the hosts. The semifinals between teams 2-3 and 1-4 will take place on Wednesday, July 25th at 5pm & 8pm ET, respectively. The final is on Saturday, July 28th at Noon ET. It is expected that the matches will be live webcast.
One player WNY did not meet the first time the two teams met was Red Stars’ Forward Ella Masar. Her paperwork had not cleared yet at that time, but she joined the team on the field June 30th and has featured in the lineup ever since.
“The first time we played WNY all I could do was sit and watch,” she recalled. “The fact that we get to play them for our last home game and for the outright claim of first place amplifies the intensity of this match. We have been preparing for this game since we left their field 6 weeks ago in Rochester.”