Red Stars top the Spirit 2-0 in the rain
The game was delayed over five hours due to lightning

On a rainy, rainy Saturday night in Maryland, the Chicago Red Stars beat the Washington Spirit 2-0 to snap a seven-game winless streak.

Kickoff was originally scheduled for 3:50 p.m. ET, but the lightning alarm went off right after the singing of the national anthem and the game was delayed. The game finally got under way at 9 p.m. ET at Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland Soccer Plex.

When the game started, the lightning was gone, but the downpour was torrential, with teams slipping and sliding in puddles at times during the first half.

The Red Stars were able to capitalize on the wet conditions for their first goal of the match. After Joanna Lohman was issued a yellow card for a foul on Yuki Nagasato just outside the area, Nagasato sent a hard, bending free kick at goalkeeper Kelsey Wys. Wys was able to stop it, but could not hold on to the ball and Sam Kerr pounced on the rebound to make it 1-0.

Wys made the start on the evening, her first since the 2016 NWSL Championship, after missing last season with a torn ACL.

The Spirit had a chance to even the score at the end of the first half on a free kick after Ashley Hatch was fouled by Nikki Stanton. Havana Solaun sent her shot just over the crossbar.

Nagasato would get a goal of her own in the 48th minute. Red Stars midfielder Rosie White, making her first start of the season, sent a ball into the box that Nagasato brought down with a nice touch, then passed to Alyssa Mautz. Mautz then tapped it back to Nagasato, who then struck it one-time with her left foot for her second career NWSL goal.

Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Emily Boyd made her NWSL debut, starting in place of Alyssa Naeher, who is on international duty for the United States. She made five saves in the match, including a late stop on Hatch to preserve her first career clean sheet. Boyd was drafted by the Red Stars in the second round of the 2018 NWSL College Draft.

The Red Stars are now 3-3-6 (15 points) and moved into fifth place with the win. The Spirit are 2-7-2 (8 points) and in eighth place.



The Spirit had the better of the stats, according to Opta, but could not find the back of the net. They led in possession (56.4%-43.6%), total shots (12-11) and shots on goal (5-4).

Naeher, Julie Ertz and Sofia Huerta missed the game for the Red Stars due to be called into for next week’s  USWNT friendlies. Spirit forward Mallory Pugh missed the game with a right knee injury. Her status continues to be evaluated by medical staff, the team said on Thursday.

The NWSL heads into a FIFA break following this weekend’s matches. The Spirit will be in action during the break, going on the road to take on the winless Sky Blue FC. The Chicago Red Stars will next host Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, June 16.


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