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Late Kerr goal steals two points from Red Stars

 

It was another night of last minute dramatics at Yurcak Field, with Sam Kerr scoring the equalizer in the 90th minute to level the score at two to earn Sky Blue FC (7-6-2, 23 points) a point against the visiting Chicago Red Stars (7-3-4, 25 points).

In a bit of deja vu from the teams’ last meeting—a 2-1 home win for the Red Stars on June 25—the away team once again scored a goal within the first five minutes. Last time it was Madison Tiernan heading in a Taylor Lytle corner kick, but tonight it was Sofia Huerta scoring from the run of play. In the 4th minute, Kayla Mills attempted a pass to Christie Pearce, but Christen Press used her speed to get to Mill’s pass first. She then played the ball over to Huerta as Kailen Sheridan, in a move reminiscent of an even earlier play in which she denied Press, came off her line but was unable to make a second stop as Huerta blasted the ball into the back of the net.

Press then added a goal to her assist in the 26th minute when she held up her run long enough for Vanessa DiBernardo to chip her the ball. Press then chested the ball and allowed it to take a bounce before blasting a shot past Sheridan to extend the Red Stars’ lead. The goal was Press’s 30th in her NWSL career.

It wasn’t long after Press’s goal that Sky Blue were able to get on the board, thanks to Maya Hayes. Kerr sent in a cross that was headed down by Taylor Lytle. Hayes put an attempt on goal, only to have Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher take to the ground to make the stop. However, the ball fell right to Hayes and she was able to capitalize on Naeher’s spot on the ground to knock in her second attempt.

The game went into the half with Chicago leading 2-1, and it stayed that way until almost the final whistle. The Red Stars had a number of solid attempts on goal in the second half, but another stellar performance from rookie goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan prevented a Red Stars game-winner. Ten minutes into the second half, Sofia Huerta sent in a curling shot on goal, but Sheridan was able to get her paw on it to parry it away from danger. Just five minutes later Arin Gilliland found Press in the box, and Press was able to fire off a close-range shot. Sheridan hesitated for just a second before charging towards Press and was able to get her body in front of Press’s shot to make the stop. At the end of the night, Sheridan walked away with seven more saves in her account.

However, in what is becoming typical Sam Kerr (and Sky Blue at Yurcak Field) fashion, the Australian striker scored in the final minute of regulation time to prevent the Red Stars from earning another three points from the New Jersey side. Sarah Killion played in a beautiful ball from the right flank, and Kerr took to the air to get on the end of Killion’s service, practically chipping the ball with her head over Naeher for the equalizer.

That now makes eight times that Sky Blue has scored after the 80th minute and the second consecutive time Sky Blue has overcome a two-goal deficit only to have Kerr score in the 90th minute to change the game’s result.

Next weekend Chicago Red Stars returns home for the first time since June 25 to take on the Orlando Pride on Saturday, July 22 at 3:50 p.m. ET for the Lifetime Game of the Week. Sky Blue will hit the road to travel back to Memorial Stadium, the site of their season opener, to take on the Reign. That game kicks off at 10 p.m. ET.

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