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Press scores late as first-place Red Stars top Breakers

Christen Press scores the game-winning goal vs. Boston. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Christen Press scores the game-winning goal vs. Boston. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Christen Press picked up where she left off in the National Women’s Soccer League, scoring the game-winning goal in her return on Wednesday as the first-place Chicago Red Stars defeated the Boston Breakers, 2-1.

Press scored the winning goal in the 89th minute after entering the match off the bench in the 60th minute. She has five goals in four NWSL games this season, having last appeared on May 2 before departing for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where she and her U.S. teammates were victorious.

Sofia Huerta got on the ball at the top of Boston’s box and threaded a ball through to Jen Hoy, who had her back to goal. Hoy laid the ball back into the path of Press for the right-footed shot from 15 yards out.

Melissa Tancredi gave Chicago the lead in the 41st minute, tapping the ball into the net after Alyssa Mautz redirected a cross from Arin Gilliland.

Australian international Kyah Simon scored the equalizer for Boston in the 69th minute, heading in a cross from Stephanie McCaffrey at the back post. Simon was playing in her first home match with the Breakers since returning to the team. The 24-year-old played for Boston in 2012 and 2013.

Press’ goal came just four minute after the Breakers looked like they had a winner of their own. Kristie Mewis hit a knuckling, left-footed free kick off the far post to put the Breakers withing inches of going ahead. Press showed signs of danger four minutes after checking into the match, when she cut inside and sent a right-footed shot toward net which forced Breakers goalkeeper and U.S. World Cup teammate Alyssa Naeher to make a diving save to tip the ball over the bar.

U.S. players and Red Stars Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny did not travel for the match. Julie Johnston played the entire match for Chicago.

Boston managed a 1-1 draw with the Red Stars in Chicago last Saturday. The Red Stars (7-1-4, 25 pts.) maintain their spot atop the NWSL table, while Boston (3-7-3, 12 pts.) is winless in six matches and remains in eighth place.

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