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Rookies connect in Red Stars’ win over Flash

Karina LeBlanc had a clean sheet in her Red Stars debut.

The Chicago Red Stars shined in their 2014 season opener against the Western New York Flash. Julie Johnston netted Chicago’s winning goal in the 59th minute off of a corner kick taken by fellow 1st Round pick Vanessa DiBernardo.

Noticeably missing from the Flash lineup again this week was Abby Wambach, who is out due to a broken bone under her left eye. Flash defender Haley Palmer went out early in the first half and was replaced by Kathryn Williamson, who made her Flash debut after being acquired from the Thorns late in preseason.

Western New York had the upper hand at the start of the match in terms of possession, but Chicago quickly settled in and eventually dominated the play. The Red Stars excelled in the midfield – Lori Chalupny and DiBernardo did a great job creating many offensive opportunities, while Julianne Sitch held strong breaking down plays as the holding mid.

Though the Flash struggled to connect and create offensive opportunities throughout the match, the defensive line held strong, especially as Chicago pressed hard along the flanks.

“It took us a bit to settle in, and the Flash is not an easy team to solve,” Red Stars coach Rory Dames said. “But I think it was a good outing for us. I’m pleased with our younger players and I’m obviously pleased with the outcome.”

Carli Lloyd was given a yellow card in first half stoppage time for a foul on DiBernardo. Alyssa Mautz was given a yellow card in the 57th minute for holding Katherine Reynolds.


Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 59’ Chicago Red Stars Julie Johnston Vanessa DiBernardo


CHICAGO RED STARS: Karina LeBlanc, Julie Johnston, Rachel Quon, Michelle Wenino, Jackie Santacaterina, Vanessa DiBernardo, Lori Chalupny(C), Julianne Sitch, Alyssa Mautz, Adriana Leon, Jen Hoy

WESTERN NY FLASH: Lydia Williams, Samantha Kerr, Angela Salem, McCall Zerboni, Carli Lloyd, Adriana Martin, Brittany Taylor (C), Vicky Losada, Katherine Reynolds, Amy Barczuk, Haley Palmer

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