Jackie Santacaterina twice scored the equalizing goal with her head late in the match to earn the Chicago Red Stars a 3-3 draw with Sky Blue FC, who could have pulled within a point of first place with a win.
The tie comes as a blow to Sky Blue FC’s hopes of hosting an NWSL playoff game and comes in crushing fashion.
Monica Ocampo looked to be the late hero again for Sky Blue FC when her 89th minute volley gave the visitors a 3-2 lead and what looked like a sure three points. It was her second tally of the game and team-leading eighth of the season.
But Santacaterina scored 70 seconds later on her second header of the game to spoil Sky Blue’s evening. Santacaterina slipped in between Sky Blue center backs Christie Rampone and CoCo Goodson and looped her header over goalkeeper Jill Loyden for the equalizer. Lydia Vandenbergh provided the cross.
Santacaterina first equalized in the 78th minute, also on a header from near the top of the box.
Maribel Dominguez opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a rocket into the side netting to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later, however, fellow Mexico international Monica Ocampo scored the equalizer past Erin McLeod for a quick response. The goal was Ocampo’s seventh of the season.
Sophie Schmidt scored her seventh goal of the season and put Sky Blue FC ahead in the 35th minute with a nice redirection of Kendall Johnson’s cross from the left flank.
Sky Blue FC (10-6-5, 35 pts.) won’t be able to finish higher than 2nd place due to an inferior goal differential with 1st place FC Kansas City. Sky Blue ends its season on August 18 at last place Washington Spirit, now on a two-game winning streak after beating Seattle Reign FC 1-0 on Saturday.
Portland and Western New York tied 0-0 in other action on Saturday, leaving those two teams tied with Sky Blue on 35 pts. Western New York holds the tiebreaker over both teams. Portland currently has a superior goal differential on Sky Blue (+6, vs. +5), leaving the Thorns in 3rd.
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