- Connor Moore
Chicago makes history defeating Orlando 1-0; will host playoff match
CHICAGO, Ill. (October 29, 2021) - The Chicago Red Stars, behind a second half Kealia Watt goal, clinched their league record sixth consecutive playoff berth after defeating the Orlando Pride 1-0 Friday, October 29.
22’ - Mallory Pugh gets a shot on goal attempt from just inside the box, but the ball rolls just wide of the post 33’ - Pugh finds Watt who takes a shot, but Orlando’s Erin McCleod gets a hand on it
44’ - Alex Morgan has an attempt on goal with an empty net, but Arin Wright flies in with a clutch slide tackle to prevent an open-net goal
65’ - Watt turns her defender after receiving the pass from Morgan Gautrat and curls her shot inside the far post to break the scoreless tie and give the Red Stars the lead
After defeating the Orlando Pride Friday night, the Red Stars guaranteed themselves a top four spot in the 2021 NWSL Playoffs and a home game November 7. This year marks the sixth consecutive season in which Chicago has clinched a playoff berth, becoming the first team in the history of the National Women's Soccer League to accomplish such a feat.
Sarah Gorden’s full 90-minute performance officially earned her the title of Chicago’s very first Iron Woman. The Chicagoland native became the first player in Red Stars history to have started and played in every single minute of the NWSL regular season, and was one of two players this season in the league to have played every minute up to this point. Gorden finished Friday night’s matchup with a block, an interception, a clearance, 36 touches on top of winning possession back five times.
Arin Wright was up and down the pitch Friday night, almost providing an early goal on the offensive and coming up clutch countless times on defense. Wright finished with four clearances, two tackles, two interceptions, 61 touches and 36 passes. She regained possession 12 times (tied for the team lead) and took home Co-Player of the Match honors for her stellar performance.
Kealia Watt continued her late-season form, scoring what would eventually be the game-winning and playoff clinching goal in the 65th minute. She would finish with five total shots on goal, 45 touches, 17 passes and two tackles on her way to a Co-Player of the Match performance.
The Red Stars will host an NWSL Quarterfinal Round playoff game next Sunday, November 7. Time and opponent TBD. Get your tickets now at chicagoredstars.com/playoffs.
Chicago Red Stars at Orlando Pride October 29, 2021 Exploria Stadium (Orlando, FL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 0 1 1 Orlando Pride 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: CHI: Watt 65’ (Gautrat)
Disciplinary Report CHI: Watt 54’ (yellow card) ORL: Strom 30’ (yellow card)
Lineup ORL: GK McLeod, D Strom (Riley 59’), D McClernon, D Pressley, D Petersen, M Jonsdottir (Roberts 69’), M Viggiano, M Tymrak (van Egmond 45’), F Taylor (Kim 74’), F Leroux, F Morgan
CHI: GK Miller, D Milazzo, D Gorden, D Davidson, D Wright, M Colaprico (Stanton 86’), M Gautrat, F DiBernardo, F Pugh (Mautz 83’), F Doniak (Hill 45’), F Watt (Stevens 86’)