The Chicago Red Stars treated a sellout home crowd of 3,400 to a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Reign on Saturday at Benedictine University Sports complex in Lisle.
The win kept the Red Stars (7-7-5, 26 points) alive in the National Professional Soccer League playoff race and knocked the Reign (5-11-3, 18 points) out of the postseason picture.
Contact information ( * required )
Inka Grings notched 2 goals and Sonja Fuss added a penalty kick score. The Reign's only goal came on Kaylyn Kyle's penalty kick.
"We've been playing in games that have been must-wins for over a month," said Red Stars coach Rory Dames. "We don't really feel pressure because we don't consider ourselves the favorites in anything. The players have done extraordinary and I'm extremely proud of the group."
Reign midfielder and national team member Megan Rapinoe created early opportunities with a perfectly placed cross ball and a free kick.
But the Red Stars struck first in the 11th minute with a penalty kick by Fuss after a handball in the box.
The Reign answered with Kyle's penalty kick conversion in the 27th minute. Red Stars keeper Taylor Vancil dove to the right side of the goal but was unable to stop the shot.
In the 41st minute, Reign goalie Hope Solo attempted to clear the ball out of the backfield, but it hit Grings in the chest. She gained control of the ball and fired a shot into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead before halftime. Grings sealed the victory in the 71st minute, converting Jen Hoy's low crossed ball.
The Red Stars' Michelle Wenino and the Reign's Emily Van Egmond and Keelin Winters received yellow cards in the match.