After 54 minutes of scoreless soccer, Chicago forward Jennifer Hoy scored twice in 12 minutes to lift the Red Stars over Seattle Reign FC, 2-1, in front of 4,056 spectators Sunday evening at Memorial Stadium. With the victory, Chicago (4-1-1) moves into a tie with the Washington Spirit atop the National Women’s Soccer League standings with 13 points apiece; Washington suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, 4-1, in Portland.
Though Chicago and Reign were 3-3-3 in their head-to-head matchup, the Red Stars had never won in Seattle and had been outscored, 11-4, in those previous five away games. The injury-plagued Reign, who expect feisty midfielder Jessica Fishlock to return from a fractured left left tibia in the near future, dropped to 2-3-1 with the loss.
Hoy gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute with her first goal of the season. The former Princeton Tiger finished a rebound off Reign goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer’s hands from a tremendous diving save against a hard shot from U.S. Women’s National Team forward Christen Press. Kopmeyer started for Hope Solo, who was attending a memorial service for her grandmother. Press, who entered the game with a league-high 18 shots on a goal and added several more Sunday, is currently tied with Washington’s Diana Matheson to lead the league in scoring with three goals.
The Red Stars took a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute when Hoy ran on to a perfectly-placed ball over the top from Vanessa DiBernardo.
Chicago broke an NWSL record for consecutive shutout minutes Sunday, eclipsing Sky Blue FC’s previous mark of 435 minutes to reach 485. But the Red Stars’ hopes of a league-record fifth straight shutout was denied by Kim Little’s score on a penalty kick in the 89th minute. The shot was given to Seattle after Samantha Johnson took down Beverly Yanez in the box.
Next up for the Red Stars is Sky Blue FC, Sunday in Chicago. The Reign will travel to Northwest rival Portland Thorns FC.
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