The Chicago Red Stars don't want to see Sky Blue FC again for a while.
For the second time in two weeks, Sky Blue defeated the Red Stars 1-0 Saturday night, this time at Toyota Park but again leaving the Red Stars feeling snakebit.
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"We've just got to bounce back from this, you know?" Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney said. "Everyone goes through ups and downs. It's a (24) game season. We've just got to learn from it. We're not a bad team, we're a good team."
Sky Blue (2-1-0, 6 points) got its goal in the 52nd minute. When first-half substitute Kacey White sent a pass over the top of the Chicago defense to Natasha Kai, the Red Stars defense stopped and even Kai appeared to slow down assuming she was offsides. The assistant referee's flag never went up, however, and Kai just had to chip her shot over sliding Red Stars goalkeeper Jillian Loyden.
"I don't know if it was offsides or not, but we'll take the goal," said Sky Blue coach Paulina Miettinen, who admitted, "I thought we got lucky today."
"I didn't expect their goal," said Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney. "It kind of came out of nothing. I thought we were in control of the game. We were doing well and then you get sucker punched. And some calls aren't made that perhaps should have been for our favor."
The offsides flag did stop two goals, both for the Red Stars (0-2-1, 1 point). The first came in the 40th minute and disallowed a Kosovare Asllani goal, the second in the 68th brought back a Cristiane goal.
The Red Stars also hit the post a couple of times on shots.
"There were many chances that they created, and all credit to them," Miettinen said.
"As I keep saying to the team, it's not enough to dominate," Red Stars coach Emma Hayes said. "Sometimes you do need a degree of luck."
The Red Stars play Sky Blue once more this season, Aug. 1 in New Jersey. But first they have to bounce back at Boston next weekend.
"That's the lowest dressing room I've seen since I've been here," Hayes said. "... I'm sure these guys will tell you, if this loss affects them massively, then we'll use it to our advantage going into our game next week."