The Chicago Red Stars huffed and puffed and eventually found the breakthrough to down a resilient Sky Blue FC, 1-0, Saturday night at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex in Chicago.
Rookie midfielder Danielle Colaprico scored the goal after collecting a rebound off her own shot during a corner kick in the 54th minute and sent a blistering second effort into the upper left corner of the goal.
The win moves Chicago (2-0-1) to second in the NWSL standings and sends the side’s six national team members to World Cup training camp out on a high note. Sky Blue (1-2-1) drops its second consecutive game and first without U.S. national team defenders Christie Rampone and Kelley O’Hara.
The Red Stars started the game on the front foot and nearly found themselves ahead 2-0 in the opening 10 minutes.
The first chance came in the 8th minute when Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron waited too long to clear a ball down field, but luckily her blocked clearance deflected back into her arms.
Moments later Lori Chalupny, who played the match as a left back, made a dangerous overlapping run down the left flank only for her low shot to go just wide of the net.
NWSL Player of the Month Christen Press continued to apply the pressure in the 17th and 18th minute with two testing shots from long range but could not find the back netting.
It took until the 30th minute for Sky Blue to create its first real chance but forward Nadia Nadim’s mid-range effort was sent over the cross bar.
The New Jersey club upped the intensity in the second half though and looked to be getting the better of the stronger Red Stars up until Colaprico’s goal.
It was the Freehold, New Jersey native’s first career goal as a professional which fittingly came against the club who had full intentions on bringing her back to the Garden State in the 2015 NWSL Draft only for Chicago to trade up and nab the talented midfielder.
Chalupny then nearly scored a spectacular goal in the 75th minute only for her curling effort to be parried away by Cameron.
Sky Blue struggled to create much on the other end in what was a mostly one-sided performance by the Red Stars.
NEXT UP: Chicago hosts the Boston Breakers looking to continue its strong start to the year without its top players. Sky Blue returns to Piscataway, New Jersey to play the Seattle Reign.
Sky Blue FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
May 2, 2015 – Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex
Scoring By Period
Sky Blue FC: 0-0-0
CRS – Danielle Colaprico – 54
SBFC – Brittany Cameron, Cami Levin (Lo’eau LaBonta, 81), Kristin Grubka, Hayley Haagsma, Lindsi Cutshall, Katy Freels, Sarah Killion, Shawna Gordon, Taylor Lytle (Meg Morris, 61), Nadia Nadim, Maya Hayes (Kim DeCesare, 71)
CRS: Karina LeBlanc, Julie Johnston, Taryn Hemmings, Samantha Johnson, Danielle Colaprico (Abby Erceg, 90), Shannon Boxx, Vanessa DiBernardo, Lori Chalupny, Sofia Huerta (Arin Gilliland, 63), Christen Press, Jen Hoy (Cara Walls, 65)
SBFC – Nadia Nadim (caution) – 85