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Utah closes out their inaugural season with a 2-1 comeback win over Red Stars
Amy Rodriguez and Katie Stengel scored for Utah

Utah Royals FC came from behind to beat the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Utah forwards Amy Rodriguez and Katie Stengel scored, and Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored her team’s lone goal on the day.

While Utah has been eliminated from playoff contention, the team finishes their inaugural season in fifth place with an overall record of 9-7-8. Utah snapped Chicago’s seven-game unbeaten streak and the visitors close out their regular season campaign at 9-5-10 in fourth place. The Red Stars still have a chance to win the playoffs and will face the North Carolina Courage for the semifinal on Sunday, September 16.

Kerr scored her 16th goal of the season in the 39th minute to give the Red Stars an early lead. Kerr finished the regular season with 16 goals, just one goal shy of her record-setting 17 goals last year. Midfielder Arin Gilliland made her third assist on the week when she played a perfectly weighted cross to the head of Kerr. Kerr, with what seemed like impossible hang-time, headed one past Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

Kerr finished the match with six shots and three key passes and Gilliland had three key passes on the day.

After the first half, Utah came back to the pitch ready to get one back. Rachel Corsie had a chance to equalize the game but her shot cruised over the net. Taylor Lytle curled in a ball to the leading foot of Corsie who tried to half volley it past Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher.

Utah leveled the game up just minutes later thanks to Rodriguez in the 56th minute. Rodriguez scored her fifth goal this season and her finish was a one time volley off of a Katie Bowen service. Rodriguez finished the game with three shots.

In the 64th minute Stengel scored the game-winner and her sixth goal of the season to make it 2-1. The forward finished with a header goal off of a far post service from Lytle. Stengel had six shots on the day and made three key passes.

Utah held the better of the possession at 54.8% to the Red Stars 45.2%. Naeher made a crucial save in the 58th minute when Stengel had a wide open shot inside the box. Naeher — who seemed to be screened by her backline, pivoted to her right then quickly jolted to her left to deny Stengel’s shot.

Naeher finished the game with five saves, and Barnhart made seven saves in net for Utah.

This story will be updated

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