• Connor Moore

Gritty Team Effort Sends Chicago to NWSL Championship with 2-0 Win Over Portland Thorns

CHICAGO, IL. (November 14, 2021) - The Chicago Red Stars battled throughout the entire 90 minutes of play, beating the Portland Thorns 2-0 on their home turf with goals from Katie Johnson and Sarah Woldmoe today in Portland. The Red Stars will take on the Washington Spirit for the NWSL Championship on Saturday, November 20 in Louisville.

13’- Portland’s Sophia Smith took Tatumn Milazzo one on one down the left side flank and would get a shot off, but Cassie Miller made a diving save to prevent the Thorns from opening up the scoring.

37’ - Katie Johnson, who entered the game for an injured Kealia Watt, receives the pass from Vanessa DiBernardo, isolates her defender, and takes a shot to the near post corner. The ball deflects off Portland’s Bella Bixby to give the Red Stars an early lead.

59’ - Sarah Woldmoe receives the pass from Morgan Gautrat and fires a shot from outside of the box to the top corner that gets past Bixby for Chicago’s second.

75’ - Portland’s Rocky Rodriguez is able to get a left-footed shot off from outside of the box, but Miller is able to get in front of the ball to keep the score 2-0 for the Red Stars.


  • After coming in for an injured Kealia Watt at the 28th minute, Katie Johnson wasted no time in making her presence felt. Johnson opened up scoring in the 37th minute with a near-post shot that would get past the keeper and give Chicago momentum. Johnson finished the match with 37 touches, 15 passes, a tackle, and an interception.

  • Sarah Woldmoe’s second-half strike sealed the deal for the Red Stars and put an exclamation mark on another stout performance for her in the midfield. Woldmoe finished the match with 44 touches, winning all of her aerial duels, 25 passes, three interceptions (a team lead), three tackles, and two clearances.

  • Morgan Gautrat bossed the midfield for the Red Stars, controlling almost every facet of the game on her way to a Budweiser Player of the Match performance. Gautraut finished with the team lead in touches (80), total duels (30), tackles (10), total passes (56), passes in the opposition half (31), and assisted Sarah Woldmoe’s goal in the 59th minute.

  • Despite an early injury, Cassie Miller weathered an offensive storm from Portland that helped lead the Red Stars to their second straight postseason clean sheet. Miller recorded seven saves and one catch on the night, while also facing 21 total shots from the Thorns throughout the contest.

  • With Sunday’s victory, the Red Stars are advancing to their second straight NWSL Championship after appearing in the 2019 game following a victory over Portland at home. It will also be the third straight year the Red Stars will play in a title game, as Chicago also advanced to last year’s Challenge Cup final against Houston.

Next Game

The Chicago Red Stars will play for the NWSL Championship this Saturday, November 20 vs the Washington Spirit in Louisville, KY at 11:00 am CT.

Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns November 14, 2021 Providence Park (Portland, OR)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

Chicago Red Stars 1 1 2 Portland Thorns 0 0 0

Scoring Summary: CHI: Johnson 37’ (DiBernardo), Woldmoe 59’ (Gautrat)

Disciplinary Report POR: Salem 79’ (yellow)

Lineup POR: GK Bixby, D Kuikka, D Menges, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg, M Salem, M Rodriguez, M Ryan, F Sinclair, F Smith, F Weaver (Charley 58’)

CHI: GK Miller, D Milazzo, D Gorden, D Davidson, D Wright, M Woldmoe, M Gautrat, F DiBernardo, M Colaprico, F Hill (Mautz 83’), F Watt (Johnson 28’)