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Red Stars back in 1st after hammering Breakers

Sofia Huerta is one of eight Red Stars to spend the offseason playing in Australia. Rory Dames says he can see the difference.

The Chicago Red Stars ran their unbeaten streak to eight games and returned to the top of the NWSL standings with a 3-0 shelacking of the Boston Breakers on Saturday night at Toyota Park. Sofia Huerta scored in the opening minutes of each half–her first time on the scoresheet in a game that Christen Press also played in–and Casey Short cleaned up in front on a play that began with a Press free kick to finish off the last-place Breakers.

The Red Stars struck early after an attractive series of passes in the 3rd minute. Arin Gilliland made the key pass when she delivered along cross that beat the defense but just barely eluded Press. She was able to chase it down and find Vanessa DiBernardo near the top of the 18 and DiBernardo’s pass in close was redirected in by Huerta for her second goal of the season.

The match remained 1-0 through the balance of the half. A narrowly called offside negated what looked like a second Red Stars goal and the home side often looked the more dangerous of the two. Any hopes for a Breakers’ comeback were pushed aside when Huerta scored faster in the second half than she did in the first. A giveaway by Mollie Pathman was won by Alyssa Mautz and it quickly went to Huerta who made no mistake beating Libby Stout in the 47th minute.

The two-goal lead was already the equivalent of the Breakers’ goal total for the entire season, but the Red Stars added a little more insurance just after the stroke of an hour. Eunice Beckmann came off the bench for the Breakers and immediately took a yellow card for shoving down Danielle Colaprico. Less than a minute later Beckmann was lucky to stay in the match after getting a cleat up by DiBernardo’s head.

Press’s free kick was saved by Stout but the Red Stars got to the rebound and DiBernardo fired it into the box where Short slid in front of Kassey Kallman for her second goal of the season.

The Red Stars (5-1-3, 18 pts) have not lost since opening night and are back in front of the Spirit and Thorns by a point. They face a quick turnaround ahead of Wednesday’s away match in Portland. The Breakers (1-7-1, 4 pts) dropped to 4-26-7 on the road in NWSL play and have still yet to score in the run of play this season. They are in Western New York–site of their last away win on July 25, 2014–on Friday night.

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