On Friday, the Chicago Red Stars took the field for the first time since June 5 to play the Washington Spirit. As usual, the Red Stars were playing aggressively from the beginning.
In the first half, the Red Stars had several solid opportunities for goals. 18 minutes in, Sarah Gorden sent a beautiful cross into the box, but Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe snatched it up. A minute later, Kealia Watt had a great shot on goal that Bledsoe also nabbed. No matter how much the Red Stars attacked, no shots crossed the net in the first half. On the other hand, Alyssa Naeher and the Red Stars’ defense held their own throughout the first, too. When half-time was called, it was still tied 0-0.
In the second half, the stalemate continued. Naeher had a couple great saves, and Bianca St. Georges made her first appearance for the Red Stars in 2021. Alas, despite the barrage of shots on goal, Chicago could not land one in the net.
Then, at the 85-minute mark, Washington’s Trinity Rodman connected with the back of the Red Stars’ net, and gave Washington the 1-0 lead. It seemed like that would be the final score as the 90-minute mark approached. Four minutes of stoppage time were added, though, and at 91 minutes, Chicago was awarded with a penalty kick in the box.
Morgan Gautrat lined up to take the kick and laced it into the bottom left corner of the net. The score was tied at 1-1. With that, she immediately became the player of the match.
As the game ended, the score remained 1-1. With the draw, Chicago stands in 5th place in the NWSL. They next play Tuesday, visiting OL Reign, the 9th place team and losers of three straight. Hopefully, the Red Stars can capitalize and make it four straight.