The Chicago Red Stars took the field Sunday evening winners of three of their last four matches. After a tough 2-1 loss to Gotham City FC on July 25th snapped their three-game win streak, the Red Stars looked at ease taking out the Washington Spirt in a 3-1 victory.
The Washington Spirit seemed to have more energy at the start of the match. They were threatening to score within the first ten minutes. Still, Sarah Gorden and the Red Stars defense were able to nullify the chances the Spirit created. Then, off that great defense, the Red Stars made the most of their scoring opportunities. Around the 19-minute mark, Mallory Pugh capitalized on a Spirit miscommunication to take the ball from midfield to the goal herself. Her shot hit off the right post and into the net.
The scoring wasn't over in the first half for the Red Stars. 39 minutes in, Rachel Hill collected a rebound off a corner kick and connected to make it 2-0, which remained the score at the half.
In the second half, Washington struck first at the 71-minute mark as Trinity Rodman got one past Cassie Miller. Outside of that blemish, Miller had a phenomenal game in goal. Case in point: Rodman's goal was Washington's only tally of the game to bring the score to 2-1. The final goal of the match came at the 80-minute mark when Chicago's Morgan Gautrat (Brian) scored off a penalty kick due to a handball.
While 3-1 feels like a sure thing 80 minutes into a match, Miller wasn't done balling out in goal. She all but cemented the win for Chicago with this outstanding save during stoppage time that was too good to ignore.
Player of the Match
The player of the match has to be goalkeeper Cassie Miller. With Alyssa Naeher currently playing for the US Women's National Team, Miller stepped up and collected four saves for the match. She was phenomenal throughout the contest. While Pugh and the offense provided a lot of fun with three goals for the Red Stars, this match could have looked much different had Miller not been fully locked in.