The Chicago Red Stars surrendered a goal in the final minute of play to lose 1-0 against Sky Blue FC on Sunday at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ. The loss deals a huge blow to the Red Stars’ chances to qualify for post-season play.
In an end to end affair in which both teams saw excellent opportunities to score go begging, it was Sky Blue FC that found the net first in the 91th minute.
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Second-half substitute Kerri Hanks, who was traded from Saint Louis Athletica to Sky Blue FC on June 26, proved her worth to her new teammates only 16 minutes after checking into the game. Hanks collected a pass that skipped across the top of the penalty box and under the feet of a New Jersey teammate, pushed the ball back in the direction from which it came, and rifled a hard shot past Red Stars keeper Caroline Jonsson.
Due to international friendlies involving the United States and England, the Red Stars were playing without four key starters, including US Women’s National Team stars Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley, and Megan Rapinoe as well as English international Karen Carney. The Chicago offense sputtered without these core players.
“I don’t think that the team was good enough today in the attack,” said Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes, “and we weren’t able to create a great deal of chances – Sky Blue FC deserves credit for that.”
The Red Stars currently occupy sixth place with 17 points. The top four teams advance to the playoffs and the Red Stars would need to surpass two teams currently ahead of them, but Chicago has only three remaining games in which to do so.
The Red Stars return home to Toyota Park on Sunday, July 26th to face the Washington Freedom.