Tacoma, Washington (July 29, 2019) — The fans were there and they filled up Cheney Stadium. They wanted to see star players like Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe return to action. The fans also wanted to see their new players, who also went to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Reign FC had a lot of rebuilding in the middle of a season. Injuries have cursed the team and their injury report was longer than usual this weekend. However, adding players like Rebecca Quinn, Sammy Jo Prudhomme and Rosie White are positives and can turn a season around.
However, the team couldn’t gel together against the Chicago Red Stars.
After enjoying their biggest crowd ever back in Chicago last weekend, the Red Stars looked to carry momentum from their win against North Carolina into Tacoma. Indeed, the Red Stars were able to capitalize, winning their third-straight match.
Arin Wright scored her first-ever NWSL goal. The Kentucky native has been part of the Red Stars organization since 2015. Formerly known as Arin Gilliland, the defender has 98 career appearances with the Red Stars. She is inching closer and closer to that coveted 100th NWSL appearances.
Only 10 minutes after Wright’s goal, Vanessa DiBernardo scored to double the lead. Chicago added two more tallies in the second half, courtesy of Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato. Kerr’s goal is the 11th of this season, as she continues to add to her Golden Boot lead.
After the match, Red Stars head coach Rory Dames said his side found good rhythm.
“The group’s excited to have everyone back from the tournament,” Dames said. “It’s a pretty close-knit group. To get another game against a really good team, they can express themselves a little bit.”
Chicago will head back to Bridgeview, Illinois, to face off with the Utah Royals at home next weekend.
#Highlights: @ReignFC 0 – @chiredstarsPR 4
—–@agilli16 ? #NWSL ⚽️@AlyssaNaeher ??@vdibernardo10 ?⚽️ (via @samkerr1)@CaseyShort3 ? @Yuki_Ogimi ⚽️@samkerr1 ?♀️⚽️
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 29, 2019
North Carolina Courage upsets Utah Royals
Utah had a rocking crowd of 10,545 at the Rio Tinto Stadium, but it wasn’t enough to help propel the home side against the North Carolina Courage.
Breathing down the neck of the Portland Thorns for first place, the Courage picked up three points. However, for a moment, it didn’t look like there were going to be any points at all. Utah took the lead early with a goal from Christen Press in the 15th minute. However, Kristen Hamilton continued her dominance of the NWSL season by adding her eighth goal of the season.
Meanwhile, the game-winning goal came from the visiting team in the second half. Jessica McDonald wasted no time in getting the ball Nicole Barnhart, slotting home her goal early in the second half.
After the match, Royals head coach Laura Harvey said that her side didn’t make North Carolina work for their goals. They simply gave
“You could have to deal with a lot of balls in the box, I don’t think we did,” Harvey said. “I don’t know what the stats were, but normally they outshoot you, but I don’t think they did. So, when you have done all those things, it’s difficult to take that you come away with nothing from a game. I thought early in the first half we did well before they came back into it actually just before we scored.”
While North Carolina did out-shoot the Royals, the home team had more shots on goal. Stephanie Labbé had a busy day in goal, making six saves against Kelley O’Hara, Katie Bowen, Lo’eau LaBonta, Amy Rodriguez and Press.
The Courage will look to start a new winning streak as they host the Washington Spirit on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Royals will hope to bounce back against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday.
.@TheNCCourage went behind early, but pulled out the win. #UTAvNC in 60 seconds. #NWSL pic.twitter.com/qcgTJZZGI2
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 28, 2019
Dash pick up three points against Sky Blue FC
Rachel Daly found the room and then blasted her shot past Kailen Sheridan.
It was clearly a defensive error from the Sky Blue FC defense. There wasn’t much that Sheridan could do to prevent the goal from Daly. However, she let out a long stretch and watched Daly’s goal sail over her head.
The Houston Dash have had a rollercoaster season this year. Despite a few rough defeats, the Dash aren’t giving up hope on reaching the playoffs. Three points helped the team, who jumped over the Utah Royals for the sixth place spot. There’s still a long way to go to reach fourth place. However, the Dash are keeping hope alive.
After the match, Daly said travel was rough, but is happy to have earned points.
“At the start of last week, if somebody said we were going to get six points out of nine, we would have taken it,” Daly said. “It’s just great to win at home in front of these fans, and I hope that’s a big push now to get more people out here and support us, because I think it’s a great game. I’m just happy to get a goal and get a win.”
Houston will look to extend their winning ways against Washington on Friday night.
p o w e r
by @RachelDaly3#HOUvNJ pic.twitter.com/yuXCSXte7h
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 29, 2019