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Red Stars clinch a playoff spot with 3-2 win over Dash
The Red Stars are in the playoffs for the third straight season

Jen Hoy, Casey Short and Christen Press all scored as the Red Stars beat the Dash 3-2 on Saturday night in Houston to clinch a spot in the NWSL Playoffs.

The Red Stars are now 11-6-6 with 39 points. They are in third place in the NWSL, two points ahead of the Pride. They won’t know until next week whether they’ll head to North Carolina or Portland for their semifinal game.

Amber Brooks and Rachel Daly scored for Houston in the loss, which dropped the Dash to 7-13-2 with 23 points.

 

Hoy opened the scoring in the 12th minute, putting the Red Stars up 1-0. After a cross from Short, Hoy’s initial shot was saved by Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell. The rebound went right back to Hoy, who did not miss with her second attempt.

Short doubled the lead in the 20th minute. Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo sent a corner kick into the box that Campbell was unable to catch. The ball bounced in front of short and she hit a one-time left-footed volley to the near post for her first goal of the season.

Brooks converted a penalty kick in the 24th minute after Kristie Mewis was fouled in the box by Hoy.

Press converted a penalty kick in first half stoppage time for her 11th goal of the season. It appeared that Brooks had been called for a handball in the box to set up the penalty.

Daly scored an impressive goal in the 85th minute on a diving header. Mewis sent a line drive cross into the box that bounced in front of Daly, running in between two Red Stars defenders. Daly dove into it and headed it first-time past Naeher to pull the Dash within a goal late.

 

The Dash would not get any closer. Naeher stopped a Hagen header in the final minutes of stoppage time.

Red Stars forward Yuki Nagasato was issued a red card in the 88th minute after a foul on Daly, just two minutes after subbing in.

 

Nagasato will miss Chicago’s regular season finale in Portland on Saturday as the Red Stars and Thorns meet in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime. It’s a potential playoff preview — if the season ended today, that would be the semifinal game in Portland on October 7.

The Dash meanwhile face the Courage on Wednesday and close out the regular season in Kansas City on Sunday, October 1.

 

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