September 30, 2016
OVER AND OUT
Red Stars fall to Spirit in NWSL semi-final
BOYDS, Md. – The Chicago Red Stars crashed out of the National Women's Soccer League playoffs, falling to the Washington Spirit 2-1 in overtime at the Maryland SoccerPlex Friday.
Francisca Ordega scored the game winner for the Spirit in the 111th minute. Christine Nairn played a 1-2, opened up in the 18-yard box, and found the feet of Ordega, who was able to tap it into the back of the net in the 111th minute to take the lead.
Washington captain Ali Krieger scored off an open header from defender Shelina Zadorsky in the 36ht minute.
In the 81st minute, Chicago equalized as defender Casey Short crossed a ball into the Spirit penalty area. Christen Press drifted wide for the ball and volleyed calmly into the left corner of the Washington net.
The Spirit dominated the first half, coming close on several occasion. Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saved a near goal from forward Crystal Dunn, but Washington was able to put another shot on goal in the 19th minute as Dunn sent a shot toward the diving Naeher. The ball went wide, hitting the far goal post and deflecting out of bounds.
In the 26th minute, a ball was sent long for a racing Dunn, but Naeher was able to beat her to the 18-yard line, catching the ball.
Right before halftime, Red Stars captain Christen Press and forward Cara Walls battled inside the 18-yard box, but Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys smothered the ball before Chicago could counter.
To start off the second half, Danielle Colaprico collected the ball 25-yards away from goal, pushing forward to rocket a skipping ball into the arms of Wys. In the 74th minute, Red Stars defender Julie Johnston drove down the right flank, passing to Press, who opened up and sent the ball just over the goal, giving Chicago another look toward goal.
Chicago was inches away from a win in the 90th minute when Christen Press struck the crossbar after dribbling through the Washington defense and past Wys.