Red Stars clinch playoff spot with win over Dash
The Red Stars clinched a spot in the NWSL Playoffs as they defeated the Houston Dash 3-2. Jen Hoy found her second goal of the year, while Casey notched her first and Christen Press tallied her 11th.
The Red Stars took control of the match early on, receiving multiple chances in the first 10 minutes, however it was moments later that Chicago took the lead.
After a Chicago throw in, Short dribbled toward the end line and crossed it into the box. Hoy would time the ball perfectly and headed it toward the net, but Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell made a stealthy save. Falling back into the goal, Campbell was no longer able to grab the ball, giving Hoy the rebound to tap it in for a 1-0 lead.
In her first start after sitting four games due to a concussion, Vanessa DiBernardo sent a corner kick to the far post in the 20th minute. Campbell came off her line for the save, but fumbled the ball. Short picked up the rebound and struck it into the upper netting at a tough angle for her first goal of the season.
Just moments later, midfielder Julie Ertz found herself battling inside the Red Stars final third that resulted in a penalty kick. Amber Brooks stepped up and calmly scored past a diving Alyssa Naeher.
Chicago would regain their two goal lead in second half stoppage time as Houston received a hand ball inside the box. Captain Press neatly placed the ball into the back of the net for her fourth penalty kick goal this season, and became the Red Stars leading goal scorer in a single season with 11 goals. Chicago finished the half up, 3-1.
As the second half was proving to show little action, the Dash was able to narrow the scoreline as Rachel Daly headed a ball over the outstretched hands of Naeher, bringing the score 3-2.
Chicago found themselves down a player in the final minutes of the match as substitute Yuki Nagasato received a red card for a foul on Daly, just three minutes onto the field. The Red Stars would work together defensively to secure the 3-2 victory and sealed a spot in the NWSL Playoffs for the third-straight year.