In a wild match that featured the ejection of Houston head coach Randy Waldrum and two penalty kicks, the Chicago Red Stars tallied three-straight goals to soundly defeat the Houston Dash, 3-1.
The Red Stars opened the scoring in 10th minute after Becky Edwards was called for a handball inside the box. Rookie Vanessa DiBernardo steeped up to the spot and drove home her first professional goal past Erin McLeod.
In the 32nd minute, Houston earned a penalty kick of its own after Nina Burger was tackled from behind by Michelle Wenino. Becky Edwards had a chance to avenge her 10th minute handball but her strike was stopped as but LeBlanc dove to her left.
The Dash opened the second half with the first home goal in Dash history. Ella Masar found herself on the end of a ball in the 51st minute and slotted a shot past McLeod. Masar followed up the goal with an Brandi Chastain-like celebration by removing her jersey and sliding into the corner flag.
The lead was short-lived as three minutes later Chicago took the lead for good after an unmarked Alyssa Mautz received a header from Jen Hoy and beat McLeod for a 2-1 advantage.
The last 30 minutes got worse for the Dash as Randy Waldrum was sent off by referee Timon Berry.
DiBernardo serviced a free kick into the box that Jen Hoy was able to head home inside the near post in the 62nd minute. Hoy has now scored in four-straight matches.
Melissa Tancredi, who played in just her second NWSL match, earned a pair of yellow cards in the final 15 minutes of play. She will miss Chicago’s next match when the Red Stars travel to Sky Blue FC on May 28.
The win sees Chicago move up to second with a record of 5-2-1 (16 points). The Dash’s struggles continue as they drop to 1-6-1 (4 points).
CHI – Vanessa Di Bernardo (1) 10′ (PK)
HOU– Ella Masar (2) – 51’
CHI – Alyssa Mautz (1) – 54’
CHI – Jen Hoy (4) – 62′
Houston – Erin McLeod, Adrianna Romero, Ohale, Diggs, Stephanie Ochs, Becky Edwards, Jordan Jackson (Teresa Noyola, 42) , Kaylyn Kyle; Tiffany McCarty, Nina Burger (Ella Masar 46), Kealia Ohai (Rafa Souza 60)
Chicago – Karina LeBlanc, Rachel Quon, Julie Johnston, Stephanie Johnson, Michelle Wenino, Julie Santacaterina, Adrianna Leon (Zakiya Bywaters 46), Lori Chalupny, Vanessa DiBernardo, Alyssa Mautz, Jen Hoy
CHI – Alyssa Mautz 24′ (YC)
HOU – Ella Masar 57’ (YC)
CHI – Melissa Tancredi 75′( YC)
HOU – Randy Waldrum 62’ (RC)
CHI – Rachel Quon 78′ ( YC)
CHI– Melissa Tancredi 89′ (RC)