CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars fell to the Houston Dash 2-0 in a hard-fought match in the NWSL Challenge Cup Championship.
4’ Houston’s Sophie Schmidt converts a penalty kick after a foul from Kayla Sharples to open the game’s scoring
14’ Savannah McCaskill’s header attempt was saved by Houston’s Jane Campbell, then hit the post to give Chicago a corner kick
90+1’ Shea Groom scores an open net goal in stoppage time to push Houston’s lead to two
Challenge Cup Notes
The Red Stars played 27 players throughout the duration of the NWSL Challenge Cup, the most out of any team participating, providing fans a look at the team’s depth of both league veterans and a glimpse of the team’s future. The youth got a chance to shine on July 1st in the team’s preliminary round matchup vs Portland Thorns FC, where the Red Stars gave six players their first professional starts (Kayla Sharples, Hannah Davison, Zoey Goralski, Julia Bingham, Ella Stevens, and Sarah Luebbert) with three additional players (Cassie Miller, Cassie Rohan, and Zoe Redei) making their league debuts.
2020 saw the professional debut of Bianca St. Georges, the team’s 20th overall draft pick in the 2019 draft. St. Georges had an impressive tournament, recording a 53.8% tackle success rate and six clearances on the defensive end while recording six open play crosses and three key passes on the attacking half. In the team’s semifinal matchup vs Sky Blue FC, St. Georges recorded her first career NWSL goal in the 8’ minute and her first career assist in the 60’ minute leading to a Savannah McCaskill goal.
At halftime of Sunday’s championship game, defenders Julie Ertz and Casey Short were named to the 2020 Challenge Cup Best XI. The defensive duo concludes their Challenge Cup competition with a combined 22 total tackles, 24 clearances, 11 interceptions, and 52 duels won. Short would find the back of the net in Chicago’s final preliminary round matchup against Utah Royals FC on July 12th, a game in which the Red Stars would be victorious 1-0.
In addition to the team’s success on the field making it to their second straight championship game, the Red Stars had an even bigger victory off the field. Prior to the Red Stars’ preliminary round game against the Utah Royals FC, defender Sarah Gorden pledged to donate $5 for every completed pass to Get Yo Mind Right Chi, starting the #PassItOnCRS challenge which encouraged fans and teammates to participate. Between Gorden’s performance that night, as well as the contributions made by players, fans, and broadcast personnel alike, the initiative raised over $15,000 in donations.
Houston Dash vs Chicago Red Stars July 26, 2020 Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, UT)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Houston Dash 0 2 2
Chicago Red Stars 0 0 0
HOU: Schmidt 5’, Hill 11’, Groom 90+1’ (Daly)
CHI: Sharples 5’
HOU: Hanson 81’, Simon 88’
Lineups CHI: GK Naeher, D St. Georges (Bingham 88’), D Gorden, D Ertz, D Sharples (Goralski 67’), M DiBernardo, M McCaskill (Doniak 77’), M Colaprico, F Watt, F Hill, F Johnson (Morse 78’)
HOU: GK Campbell, D Chapman, D Naughton, D Oyster, D Hanson, M Mewis (Kizer 28’), M Schmidt, M Groom, F Visalli (Latsko 77’), F Daly, F Prince (Simon 86’)