Lisle, IL (July 15, 2012) – Fans in Lisle Saturday night were witness to a spectacular back-and-forth soccer contest between the Red Stars and Flash, and even a bit of controversy, as multiple goals were disallowed. WNY would walk away with a 2-1 victory behind scores from Adriana and Katy Frierson in the 42nd and 75th minutes. Lauren Alkek would add her first goal of the season for the Red Stars in 77th, off the assist of Alyssa Mautz.
A win or tie would have given the Red Stars an opportunity to clinch sole possession of 1st place in WPSL Elite with only two games remaining. With the loss, the Red Stars sit in 2nd place, just three points behind Boston and WNY, with a game in hand on each team. With Boston meeting WNY on the road next weekend, anything can happen in the race for 1st place in the playoff standings.
“Outside the result, it was such a great night for the team: great atmosphere, great crowd, and really a great game of soccer,” said team Captain Lori Chalupny. “Unfortunately we didn’t come out on top, but we matched up with them better this time compared to the first time we played them, and we improved. We learned more from this game and we’ll take that forward if we meet them again.”
The Red Stars pressed early and looked dangerous many times in the first half, from free kicks and long throw-ins. But it was WNY that would take advantage of a free kick earned just inches from the 18-yard box in the 42nd minute, after Red Stars’ defender Jackie Santacaterina inadvertently got a hand on the ball in a footrace with a WNY player. The league’s leading scorer, Adriana, would step-up for the free kick and score the first goal with an extremely powerful and accurate shot placed expertly into the upper-90 corner of the net.
Shortly after, the Red Stars were celebrating a goal of their own, only to have it confusingly called back and placed down for a WNY free kick. Michelle Weissenhofer took one of her now-famous flip throw-ins and launched it to the back post into the onrushing path of leaping defender Michelle Wenino who buried it away with her head for what looked like the game-tying goal. While the Red Stars, their fans, and PA announcer were celebrating, the referee had quietly placed the ball on the ground in WNY’s box and allowed them a free-kick. The Red Stars were called for a foul on WNY goalkeeper Ali Lipsher during the play, and the goal disallowed, giving the Flash a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Flash would put a ball into the net just seconds after the referee blew her whistle for a foul near half-field. The ball was brought back out, and the free kick given to the Red Stars. In the 75th minute, the Red Stars would suffer an unfortunate predicament when a ball was played backwards towards goalkeeper Jamie Forbes. She kicked a line-drive up field, but it flew directly into the path of WNY’s star forward Adriana, who seemed to inadvertently deflect the ball downward off her arms. There was no whistle this time, however, and the ball bounced straight down onto the feet of Katy Frierson, who had no trouble launching a chipped ball over Forbes and into the net, for their second goal of the evening.
The Red Stars would slash the deficit in half just a few minutes later in the 77th when Alyssa Mautz found streaking defender Lauren Alkek rushing down the right side of the field. With a one-touch shot the second half substitution blasted the ball into the net for her first goal of the season.
“Second half we were able to pick up the intensity and go at them more direct, and after putting a few passes together Alyssa (Mautz) found me heading down the side, and I was able to put it away,” she said. “We had chances, but getting after it in the box is something we have to continue to improve upon.”
The Red Stars would press hard in the final 10 minutes of the match, but WNY’s resilient defense kept Chicago off the board a second time, and secured them a hard-fought victory on the road.
“I thought we were really good in the game,” stated Red Stars’ Head Coach Rory Dames. “We gave away 2 or 3 chances and they scored twice. They’re a good team, well coached, and really well organized. We had a great response to go get a goal back in the second half, with numerous flip throws and corner kicks where we had opportunities to put the ball in, but we’re still not mean enough in the box. There are a lot of positives to take from tonight into the end of the season.”
Red Stars’ forward Ella Masar, who was playing WNY for the first time this season after having to sit out the first matchup in Rochester said there were negatives and positives to take from the game.
“We’re frustrated. We had 16 deep throw-ins during the second half but couldn’t finish. The good news is this was the first time these 11 players for our team have been on the field together. We add more dynamics and get used to each and continue to get better. We have two more games until we have a chance to meet them again, so I know we’ll continually improve.”
The Red Stars take to the road on Thursday for the first of two final regular season matches, beginning at NE Mutiny on July 19th with a 7pm ET kickoff, followed by a trip to Long Island to meet the NY Fury, another playoff-bound team. That match is scheduled for Sunday, July 22nd, with a 7pm ET kickoff. While NE Mutiny is already out of playoff contention, both games could be huge predictors of the Red Stars’ position heading into playoffs which begin the following Wednesday, July 25th.
GOALS: Adriana (Unassisted) 42’, Katy Frierson (Unassisted) 75’, Lauren Alkek (Assist by Alyssa Mautz) 77’
Chicago: Jamie Forbes GK, Mary Therese McDonnell, Michelle Wenino, Jackie Santacaterina (Lauren Alkek 45’), Lauren Fowlkes, Julianne Sitch (Amanda Cinalli 60’), Jen Buczkowski, Lori Chalupny, Alyssa Mautz (Ashleigh Ellenwood 79’), Michele Weissenhofer, Ella Masar
WNY: Ali Lipsher (GK), Omolyn Davis (Emily Van Egmond 65’), Katy Frierson (Laura Heyboer 75’), McCall Zerboni, Adriana, Toni Pressly, Alex Sahlen, Angela Salem, Katherine Reynolds, Nikki Marshall, Steph Ochs
The WPSL Elite League is new in 2012. The 8-team league is ASA Chesapeake Charge, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, New York Fury, Philadelphia Fever, and WNY Flash.
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