Coming off a 1-0 home victory over the Western New York Flash last week at Toyota Park, the Chicago Red Stars host the Washington Spirit tonight at the team’s normal venue, Benedictine University’s Sports Complex Stadium.
The 1-2-0 Spirit have little time to rest after Wednesday night’s 3-1 loss against the Seattle Reign in Seattle.
The Spirit’s leading scorer, Diana Matheson, scored the only goal for the visitors, converting a penalty in the 73rd minute past Hope Solo.
In three matches—against the Western New York Flash, FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC—Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris has faced 35 shots (19 on goal) and made 12 saves. She has a save percentage of 63 percent and has seen seven goals end up in her net.
Red Stars goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc, has played in one match this season—against the Western New York Flash. LeBlanc faced eight shots (two on goal) and made two saves, giving her a perfect save percentage.
The lone Red Stars goal this season came from a linkup between rookies Vanessa DiBernardo and Julie Johnston on a corner kick. DiBernardo sent the ball into the box toward the far post where Johnston effortlessly headed the ball into the net.
For the Spirit, set pieces have been a cause for concern. In three matches, the team has conceded two goals from corner kicks (with Kendall Fletcher and Keelin Winters of the Seattle Reign scoring the two), as well as a free kick goal by Western New York’s Brittany Taylor and poor marking has cost the team numerous goals.
When combining tired legs with the Spirit’s relatively lengthy injury list, the team may be facing an uphill battle against the Red Stars.
The Chicago Red Stars will once again be without Taryn Hemmings due to ACL reconstruction on her left knee. Jackie Santacaterina is listed as “probable,” due to right hip arthroscopy.
For the Washington Spirit, Caroline Miller (right ankle surgery), Colleen Williams (right knee surgery) and Tiffany Weimer (left ACL tear) are definitely out. Christine Nairn is probable, with a left quad strain.