Bridgeview, IL (July 22, 2012) –This Spring, hundreds of clubs across the country made the decision to enter the US National Cup tournament. It began with winning your area then state title, then moving on to regionals to compete against other states and finally to the National Cup final four and now, this afternoon, just two teams remained. Just as the semifinal was a high-scoring affair, so would be the tough fought Women’s National Cup final at Toyota Park today, as the Chicago Red Stars overcame former champ New York Athletic Club 3-2 to take their first ever title. Amanda Cinalli led the way with a goal and an assist, while Ashlee Elliott and Georgia Waddle each added a goal for the winners.
With the game scheduled for a Noon kickoff, the teams would be forced to wait over an hour additional as the earlier scheduled match went into overtime. On the overcast and slightly rainy afternoon, the Red Stars found themselves behind early again, giving up an ambitious 18-yard goal to NYAC in just the 5th minute of the match. Red Stars’ goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire was able to get a hand on the upper-90 blasted ball, but was unable to keep it out of the net. Chicago finally found a well-earned goal in the 38th when Cinalli worked in an unassisted chip over the NYAC goalkeeper to even the game at 1-all going into halftime.
The Red Stars would strike first coming into the second half, when Kara Kabellis placed a corner kick onto the head of defender Ashlee Elliott in the 56th minute, giving Chicago their first lead of the day. It was to be short-lived, however, because NYAC came storming back just 8 minutes later, leveling the score at 2 each.
But it would be Amanda Cinalli helping to save the day for the Red Stars when after some nifty footwork she put a shot on goal from the left side of the field in the 66th that the NYAC ‘keeper tried to save but it caromed to the far post before being slotted away by Georgia Waddle. It would be the last goal the Red Stars needed to secure a victory, and the club’s first-ever USASA National Cup title.
“Any time you win a Championship it is special, and this is the first National Championship for the Chicago Red Stars club,” stated team owner Arnim Whisler. “NYAC has won this competition in the past. They are a class organization with quality players who gave us all we wanted today. The fans and I want to thank all the players, staff and coaches for the sacrifices that you made to keep us in the hunt for two separate championships this year.”
The Red Stars had a split roster today, as the team was also competing against NY Fury in Long Island, NY, in their WPSL Elite regular season finale. The game saw two first-half goals and ended in a 1-1 tie. The Red Stars have ended up in 4th place in the standings. That will set them up with a meeting with 1st place Boston Breakers when the playoffs begin Wednesday in Rochester, NY. Chicago meets Boston at 8pm ET, whereas the WNY Flash (2nd place) and NY Fury (3rd place) will meet at 5pm ET. It is anticipated the games will be webcast live.
“All season, we carried a large roster to be able to essentially play two top caliber teams simultaneously, like we had to do today,” went on Whisler. “We now move onto the WPSL Elite Championships and a chance at the very rare ‘double’.”
RED STARS GOALS:
Amanda Cinalli (Unassisted) 38’
Ashlee Elliott (Assist by Kara Kabellis) 54’
Georgia Waddle (Assist by Amanda Cinalli) 66’
Kelsey Devonshire GK, Mary Therese McDonnell, Lauren Fowlkes, Ashlee Elliott, Amanda Cinalli, Nicole Sebo (Georgia Waddle 54’, Arianna Kulinczenko 78’), Megan York (Georgiana Wagemann 81’), Nicole Lipp, Kara Kabellis, Kelsey Hough, Maggie Murnane (Allison Doyle 65’)
Shots: Red Stars 12, NYAC 8
Fouls: Red Stars 2, NYAC 3
Corners: Red Stars 6, NYAC 6
The National Cups Competition is the oldest and most prestigious soccer tournament in the United States for any person who is a member of a team playing in a league of four or more teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation and the United States Adult Soccer Association. The Women’s Amateur division was founded in 1980. USASA can be found on the web at www.usasa.com.
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.
Join our mailing list at www.chicagoredstars.com for details and follow the team on twitter @chicagoredstars and facebook.com/chicagoredstars.