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NWSL Sunday: Red Stars pummel Reign

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Reign FC 0, Chicago Red Stars 4

It was a bit of a goalfest in Tacoma, although not the kind that home fans wanted, and Chicago wasted no time kicking things off. In just the fourth minute, Yuki Nagasato launched a shot from distance that goalkeeper Casey Murphy was able to block, but the rebound fell right to Arin Wright, and she cleaned it up nicely.

While the Reign nearly answered almost immediately, forcing Alyssa Naeher to make a quick stop at the last second on Bethany Balcer, it was the Red Stars who found the back of the net next. Just ten minutes after their first goal, Vanessa DiBernardo doubled Chicago’s lead when she took a shot after Sam Kerr cut it back.

Reeling but not on the ropes yet, the Reign fought back. They spent much of the next half hour in their own attacking half, and only quick work from Naeher kept them from responding on the score board, including a golden opportunity from Allie Long late in the half that popped up over the goal.

But it was a slow start again for the Reign at the beginning on the second half, and once again they were punished for it. In the 51st minute, Nagasato got on the end of a cross from Casey Short, and just like that, they had three.

The Reign tried to play their way back in, but as the game wore on they struggled to maintain possession and create any sort of meaningful opportunity. Meanwhile, Kerr was lurking, and although she was denied by the offside flag and Murphy on a couple of occasions, she finally got her goal shortly before the whistle blew.

Chicago (7-5-2) take third place and host Utah next Saturday. The Reign (5-3-5) remain in fifth place and travel to Houston next Friday.

Goal Summary

  1. Chicago Red Stars (Arin Wright, 4’)
  2. Chicago Red Stars (Vanessa DiBernardo, 14’)
  3. Chicago Red Stars (Yuki Nagasato, 51’)
  4. Chicago Red Stars (Sam Kerr, 81’)

— Chelsey Bush

Houston Dash 1, Sky Blue FC 0

After a whopping by Portland on Wednesday, the Houston Dash needed a victory to rebound. The Dash claimed three points at home over Sky Blue FC, off a goal from Rachel Daly in the first half. With the Dash’s 1-0 victory, they move up to sixth place in the NWSL standings, leaping over the Utah Royals FC.

Daly’s goal came in the 22nd minute. Daly slipped through two Sky Blue FC defenders to find some room, in which Ally Prisock fed the ball to her. The Lioness international scored her fourth goal of the season.

Houston was dominant at home, taking 15 shots compared to Sky Blue’s seven shots. However, Houston did not control possession of the ball for the majority, as Sky Blue FC had the ball for 52.2 percent of the match.

In Houston’s favor, though, was having more shots on target. Sky Blue FC did not get a single shot on target, but Houston had six different attacking options. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made five saves against Christine Nairn, Sofia Huerta and notched one save against Daly.

Houston has a quick turnaround this weekend, taking on Reign FC at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night. Meanwhile, Sky Blue FC will take on the Portland Thorns FC at Providence Park on Saturday.

Goal Summary

  • Houston Dash (Rachel Daly, 22′)

Caution Summary

  • Sky Blue FC (Imani Dorsey, 68′)

Rachael McKriger

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